Sample Essay

The theories of cognitive dissonance as well as the theory of power and authority were clearly depicted through the experiment as to how the people can exploit their power and authority in constrained and restricted areas when provided free reign over their actions.

“Psychology Professor Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment of August 1971 quickly became a classic. Using realistic methods, Zimbardo and others were able to create a prison atmosphere that transformed its participants. The young men who played prisoners and guards revealed how much circumstances can distort individual personalities — and how anyone, when given complete control over others, can act like a monster.” (Alexander, 2001) The experiment strengthened the impact of situational influence on conformity as depicted by both the experiment by Zimbardo as well as that by Haslam and Reicher.


Thirty years later, while such experiments are not possible on ground of their restrictions, and their immorality. However significant real life incidents have been revealed which have horrifyingly similar attributes to the experiments by Zimbardo and Haslam & Reicher.

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Essay: Theories on Social Psychology
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