Sample Essay

The experiment showed that institutional forces and peer pressure led normal student volunteer guards to disregard the potential harm of their actions on the other student prisoners. “You don’t need a motive,” Zimbardo said. “All you really need is a situation that facilitates moving across that line of good and evil.”” (Dittmann)

Moreover in cases where the individuals are masked, they are able to detach themselves from their own personal values and which enables them to undertake acts of violence without feeling responsible or guilty and therefore enabling them to lose their humanity. This also increases fear in others as they are unable to determine the emotions of the masked person and what is motivating them to undertake such violent actions.  “For example, an experiment in 1974 by Harvard anthropologist John Watson evaluated 23 cultures to determine whether warriors who changed their appearance–such as with war paint or masks–treated their victims differently. As it turned out, 80 percent of warriors in these cultures were found to be more destructive–for example, killing, torturing or mutilating their victims–than unpainted or unmasked warriors.” (Dittmann)

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Essay: Study on Social Roles and Conformity
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