This experiment, conducted by Philip Zimbardo in 1971, was an attempt to investigate the psychological effects of power, focusing in the interaction and struggles of prisoner-officer relationships.
Officers and prisoners were chosen randomly from the 15 college students that volunteered to be part of the prison experiment.
Within the firsts days of the experiment, guards, who were told to mantain control in the prison, became psychologically and physically abusive. The prisoners also adapted quite good to their positions, in fact, many researchers believe that prisoners, and maybe guards, lost track of who they really were.
Days passed, and guards were asked to set up rooms for privileged people and rooms for punished people hoping that people in this last room managed to be part of the privileged people, but the result was unexpected: the existence of this 2 rooms and the possibility of going from one to the other led to mental breakdowns and many other problems.
The experiment only lasted 6 days due to questions to its morality.
Regarding the experiment:
What is the message we can take from this?
This is one of the questions I would like to do to the members of the forum.
My take on this is that power over other people leads to immoral behavior and that peace and camaraderie are two important topics related to human relations and preventing that one person takes advantage of others.
The main question is: what could have happened if any form of exchange was allowed in the experiment?
P.D. I encourage all of you to see the movie, it is now available in Netflix.