The Stanford Prison Experiment

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The Stanford Prison Experiment 5

Normal people can become monsters given the right situation. That’s the standard narrative of the Stanford Prison Experiment, one of the most famous psychological experiments of all time. But what if the cause of its participants’ cruel behavior wasn’t what we’ve always been told?

💬 Comments on the video

*_I am still not paying for YouTube Red._*

Author — The Desi Lifestyle


"Dr Zimbardo" sounds like some sketchy character from classical scooby doo and i love it

Author — Zaid Younas


My favorite dude was the one going “There’s no difference if you close your eyes or open them.” 👁👄👁. ➖👄➖

Author — • Ring Ring •


12:16 Vsauce: ..., can anonimity, power and depersonalization alone lead to evil?
Me: * points at twitter *

Author — Warlord1981NL


People: “this was wrong”
The American education system: “here’s a little lesson in trickery”

Author — Bigsepticc


having dark rooms like that is dangerous, mobs could spawn

Author — angus jones


No experiment necessary, just look at discord moderators

Author — CoolGuyNotFoolGuy


Guard: "I cannot say that I did not enjoy what I was doing"

Michael: 👀👄👀

Author — Oxzowachi Alt


So why not test also 'cruel' personalities? Really expected the second group to be a control :(

Author — Kasper Busk Pedersen


12:54 Michael is interviewing himself in 15 years.

Author — Top 10 Archive


That first group seemed so chill, I love when they just ended up chatting lol

Author — real sad egg


'people were mean to each other'

i think mean is a bit of an *UNDERSTATEMENT*

Author — Nitron Hydrium


How were none of the participants like "VSAUCE MAN???" when he turned the light on

Author — O b s c u r e ?


When they started talking about anonymity and how it affects people, I thought they were just going to go on reddit.

Author — Jillian Tabak


I feel like Vsauce is going to die by the illuminati for knowing too much

Author — FattyPhillip


i feel this experiment should be done with a lot of different age and personality groups too

Author — Colin Erickson


I think the reason they didn't become "sadistic" or cruel is because they couldn't see the affects of their actions. I think that's where sadistic behavior comes from. They can see the effects of their actions and they enjoy it. This experiment in my mind is more so how people react to being annoyed.

Author — Mae c:


That guy who was like “when I close my eyes it makes no difference then when they’re open” is like totally me

Author — Pickle The Dinosaur


Controversial experiment: exists

Vsauce: *lets do it again*

Author — forgot muh name


Thanks for an insightful experiment! Sharing some thoughts:
1. In SPE, guards never had to taste their own medicine as they did in this experiment. Which opens the question, did the first phase create empathy for the imaginary team as the first team experienced similar treatment immediately back from what they were giving?
It's not just being anonymous, but getting used to being untouchable that tests for abuse of power.
2. Were there hints (such as in who placed the ad, the building reputation etc) where participants might have guessed 'psychology'. Many seemed to conclude there was 'no other team'. Could a stronger belief in another team (eg showing or hearing another team) and running the experiment over a few days provide deeper insights? Providing a variety of sound levels from the 'other' team from 1 to 3 etc might make that team feel more real and provoke more of a SPE situation where 'unruly behaviour' needs to be reigned in.
3. SPE required a few days for behaviour to change as people need time to grow into and trust their new status. Longer time frame might provide deeper insights.
4. Perhaps giving the first team ear muffs as a quiet 'power advantage' might provide deeper insights than disconnecting them from the 'unruly behaviour' of the other team - eg still hearing the escalating buzzing but feel a level of power and protection from it.
5. Like in SPE, will you be re-running these tests with a similar distribution from the middle of personality scales rather than a selection of higher compassionate, mindful people?
Thanks again for revisiting this.

Author — David Riggs