Psychology Geek Moment!

Tuesday, January 19


Sorry its been so long since I last posted. School's been hitting me really hard this semester, as it's getting close to the end deadlines of my thesis work!

That being said, the coolest thing to have happened in my psychology undergraduate degree (apart from graduating - but that hasn't happened yet)  happened Monday evening!

Now, anyone who has taken any course in psychology has likely heard of the Stanford Prison Experiment, but for those who haven't:
 The experiment was a two week study looking at the psychological effect of being assigned as either a guard or a prisoner in a simulated prison (which was located in the bottom of their psychology department at Stanford University)

Now, this all took place in 1971, so it is well known what happened: Things got out of hand quickly, with the guards taking their roles very seriously, and the psychologist, Dr. Zimbardo, as well as some of his master's students becoming engrossed in the simulation so much that they did not notice things were becoming out of control. The study was shut down by Dr. Zimbardo's then graduate student, Christina Maslach (who joined the study late) after just 6 days! 

Now you're probably wondering why I told you about this study, 
well as it turns out, a movie was just recently made about the famous study, and our university psychology department decided to hold a movie night on Monday in which we played the film "The Stanford Prison Experiment"

Now, this was all well and good, but the coolest part was what we were able to do after the film ended. 
Our psychology department had an amazing connection and we were actually able to hold a Skype meeting with Christina Maslach, who graciously answered some questions about the original study as well as its portrayal in the movie. 
While the Skype meeting was taking place, there was a man in the background who was also answering questions..
It was Dr. Zimbardo himself, (as he and Christina had married a year after the original study had taken place) 
who then joined in the Skype session to answer some additional questions!!

Being a psychology student, it was one of the coolest moments I've ever experienced. To see the man who had run this famous experiment and the woman who had put an end to its madness was absolutely amazing!

I would recommend the movie to anyone who thought the experiment sounded interesting, as it certainly was portrayed as such in the film. 

Sorry for the Psychology geek out, I had to get it out of my system, and I want to remember it! 


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