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  • In the past 24 hours, we've seen well over 200 tweets about our July/August story on the 40th anniversary of the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment. "The Menace Within" revisits professor emeritus Phil Zimbardo, his colleagues, and prisoners and guards four decades later. 

    We are offering Cardinal Conversations as a place for readers to comment and have discussions about the story and events from 1971. Alumni can log in and comment directly. Those without a account can email and we'll post your comments here.

    Posted by Ms. Summer Moore Batte in Stanford Prison Experiment  on Jul 11 2011 11:48AM | 3 comments


Comments (3)

  • Ms. Summer Moore Batte

    Everybody who came into contact with this experiment was moved in some way. Thankfully there were people on the periphery of the project that were able to affect those caught up with it.

    Therein may be our salvation. There has always been people who saw horror at what others accepted as 'normal'. This experiment shows how it is also possible to get back on 'the right track'.

    Comment from Mark MacDonald

    [Submitted via Cardinal Conversations editor Summer Batte]

    Posted by Ms. Summer Moore Batte on Jul 13, 2011 8:45 AM

  • Ms. Summer Moore Batte

    Reading about this study immediately made me think about Milgram's study re Obedience to Authority.  I have used that study in teaching student nurses about the importance of questioning orders that don't seem right.  The Menace Within is very much an extension of Obedience to Authority, in that it reveals the tendency of folks to do things they otherwise would never do, in submission to someone perceived as an authority figure.


    Suzanne M. Smith, RN, MSN

    CKHS IRB Coordinator

    [Submitted via Cardinal Conversations editor Summer Batte]

    Posted by Ms. Summer Moore Batte on Jul 14, 2011 1:24 PM

  • Ms. Summer Moore Batte

    Maybe the research team hadn't read "Lord of the Flies", written in the mid-fifties by William Golding.

    A story about a group of kids [whose] plane crashes.
    The boys from a strict catholic school, more repressed, become totally barbaric.....A few boys from the more "normal" less privileged school keep their sanity better...
    In this book, although it's also about the evils of a strict and repressive environment in childhood.... its all about how the boys discover and use their new-found roles as leaders and dictators ...and how they use their "power" against the weaker boys....

    Role-playing is about as real as anything in life gets. You grow up copying some, and being influenced in different ways by others.....You can be lost for years, undiscovered by those who are supposed to love and protect you,  in the middle of SO many types of people. So many factors play games with your life at that point, it's a miracle so many people end up "normal"...

    The trouble is, it doesn't end with early years.
    The very fact that the lynch mob mentality is alive and well the world over, is proof that the human being needs no more than a tiny push to get him over the edge and turn him into  a very different creature.

    Place them in a situation where they are ALLOWED to use their lynch mob psyche as freely as they please..........!!!!!?????

    Is it all just always bubbling under the surface for some, ready to boil over?
    Is it the rippling of  a deeper, more silent pool of unspoken trauma that does it for others.....

    Who knows....'re not so hot....!

    [Editor's note: This comment has been edited to conform to space limitations.]
    [Submitted via Cardinal Conversations editor Summer Batte]

    Posted by Ms. Summer Moore Batte on Jul 15, 2011 7:15 AM


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