The prison study experiments by Haslam & Reicher as well as the experiment by Zimbardo aided in identifying and exposing the social psychology of tyranny. “Carnahan and McFarland critique the situationist account of the Stanford prison experiment by arguing that understanding extreme action requires consideration of individual characteristics and the interaction between person and situation.
Haslam and Reicher develop this argument in two ways. First, they reappraise historical and psychological evidence that supports the broader “banality of evil” thesis—the idea that ordinary people commit atrocities without awareness, care, or choice. Counter to this thesis, they show that perpetrators act thoughtfully, creatively, and with conviction. Second, drawing from this evidence and the BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation] Prison Study, they make the case for an interactionist approach to tyranny that explains how people are (a) initially drawn to extreme and oppressive groups, (b) transformed by membership in those groups, and (c) able to gain influence over others and hence normalize oppression.” (Haslam & Reicher)
The experiment by Haslam and Reicher provided for significant academic output as the results and the conclusions of their experiment was extensively researched upon and included in academic papers pertaining to psychology, tyranny and conformity to social roles. Most of these papers openly challenged the experiment by Zimbardo stating that it was not based on theoretical or solid grounded evidence.
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