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Minneapolis College Stanford Prison Experiment Discussion

Minneapolis College Stanford Prison Experiment Discussion


Political scientists use the scientific method to collect and analyze data.  Read Chapters 1 & 2 in the course textbook and also watch the videos: HeroicImagination TV “The Stanford Prison Experiment” (13:40 minutes) and Black History in Two Minutes (or so) “The Tuskegee Study” (3:01 minutes). Note: Chapter 2 reading and videos contain potentially disturbing images/content including depictions of prison, violence and abuse, medical mistreatment, fear, trauma, and deception. 

Please respond to the following 3 questions:

Stanford Prison Experiment: Do you consider Prof. Zimbardo to have been an ethical researcher? Why or why not?

Tuskegee Study: Do you think the Tuskegee syphilis experiment has any lasting impact today? For example, are people suspicious of researchers because of experiments like this?

Each research approach outlined in Chapter 2 has certain benefits as well as limitations Which of the four methods do you think is most effective overall (case studies, survey research, experiments/quasi-experiments, and quantitative analysis), and why?

NOTE: Please submit your full initial post first before you can read and reply to other threads.

  1. Submit initial discussion post (approx. 200 words) and reply (approx. 100 words) to at least one classmate:

Peer post:

  1. The experiment that Prof. Zimbardo conducted is not ethical to me. This experiment dehumanized the “prisoners” which is clearly not ethical. This experiment might have started off in Zimbardo’s mind as ethical, but somewhere down the line, he forgot the actual definition of ethical. If this experiment had more control, it could have been ethical. However, seeing how a mock prison acts, it just goes to show how unethical prison actually is. Zimbardo stopped his study after he realized that it wasn’t ethical, which his girlfriend at the time ended up helping him see how it wasn’t.
  2. The Tuskegee Study still has impact to this day. The study wasn’t even exposed until 40 years after it had happened, and it took many more years after that to get recognized by the US government. When communities that have already been mistreated and disadvantaged over the years, see and hear about terrible things done by medical professionals or people that have been deemed “trustworthy,” they lose trust in the medical system. Many people already don’t get proper treatment in the medical field due to money issues; it isn’t hard to see how hearing about this study makes the matter of trust worse.
  3. Quantitative analysis is the most effective research method because you are able to look over large quantities of testable data. When we look at quantitative analysis, we know that everything they are looking over is valid enough to be tested, so the outcome of this analysis will end up being more beneficial than other methods. 

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