Haslam challenged Zimbardos experiment by stating “our findings challenge Zimbardo’s,” Prof Haslam continued. “Our guards were ambivalent and circumspect about how they should use their power, so the idea that people passively conform to roles – the war criminal’s typical defense – is highly suspect. People actually think about what they are doing and are aware they are being involved in a situation where they face difficult decisions.” (Crace, 2002) They went on to explain that Ximbardos claim that persistence in such situations is futile is not true as I the experiment by Haslam and Reicher “prisoners clearly took on the system and made inroads. We also show that being in a group is good for the individual; whether it is socially good is a matter of ideological and political interpretation.” (Crace, 2002)
It also has to be taken into account that the two experiments were almost 30 years apart with Haslam’s and Reicher’s experiment taking place in 2002 and the experiment by Zimbardo conducted in 1973. The significant time difference has changed the perception of social riles and social rights of people making them more strong and independent. As a result the experiment by Haslam and Riecher required a formal ethical approval by a recognized institution and which resulted in the set up specific safeguards in the experiment for the participants. The recruitment of professional psychologists, doctors and medical staff to constantly monitor the mental health of the participants was also one of main things which were excluded in the experiment by Zimbardo as he did not seem it a necessary precaution.
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