In the Stanford Prison experiment, Zimbardo et al (1973), 24 male volunteers were recruited through an advertisement, to take part in an experiment. Zimbardos aim was to create a psychologically lifelike real prison environment. To achieve this, the volunteers were not given the full details of the aims of the study; some volunteers were randomly selected to be prison inmates whilst others were to be prison guards.
The ethnic background of the participants was that of middle class whites. Those selected as prisoners where arrested by local law enforcement officers this was done to enhance the real life scenario. They were registered through an actual police station and underwent the full booking procedure, whereby they were finger printed and photographed for their mug shots after the reading of their Miranda Rights to them. After arrival in the prison the prisoners were strip searched and assigned the specific identifying numbers while being assigned to their specific cells.
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