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This diary entry is written by ‹XxXThe_RavenXxX›. ( View all entries )
 
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(untitled)Category: (general)
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
10:55:53 PM (GMT)
In the first video we watched, the experiment was to see how well people would obey
orders if given by an authority figure, who in this case was a scientist. He rigged
the drawing for who was to be the teacher and who was to be  the learner, so that a
man working with him would always become the learner. Every time the learner would
get the wrong answer the teacher would give and increase the voltage that would shock
him. Most of the people who did this experiment, had a case of laughter and giggling
around the second or third shock. While it appeared to be completely genuine, it was
nervous laughter. Over 50% of them obeyed the teacher when he urged them to keep
going on with the experiment despite the pain thought to have occurred on the
learner's side. This showed me that people will do almost anything if a well
respected person is steering them the way.
In Zimbardo's experiment, people were transformed into prisoners under the Stanford
school. Some people were chosen to be guards, they received some objects that were
common symbols of authority. However this experiment was terminated after only six
days out of the two weeks they were supposed to have done it. The reason why is
because in this experiment. The people who were involved, started to think in the way
they would if the positions they were given where there ACTUAL careers/roles. What I
found unusual was that in this experiment the people who were put in control became
obsessed with it. However, in the previous video we had watched, the scientist and
the teacher who would both have been in control didn't enjoy too much, or overstep
their boundaries. Whereas in the Stanford prison, the "prisoners" were subjected to
humiliation, mental abuse, and solitary confinement. At first the prisoners refused
to obey the guards. They barricaded the doors. They even teased the guards through
the bars. The guards could not physically harm them due to prior set up rules. So
they resorted to other tactics. Attempting to break down the prisoners pride, so that
they'd willingly obey. After 36 hours of harassment from the guards, and being in
that surrounding prisoner 8612 went crazy and had to be let out. When the parents
were able to visit their children, they didn't question anything, the ethics, nor the
surroundings. A priest came by and didn't question either, instead he gave legal
advice. After which a public defender came down, who only asked legal questions,
unconcerned by their well being. When asked their names, the prisoners referred to
their numbers instead. Prisoner 819 came in to the project late, as a result the
other prisoners had already "learned their place" and had already gone through their
break downs. 819 however had not, he refused to eat and by doing so the guards
punished him and pit the other prisoners against him and each other.
In the last video "ghost of Abu Ghraib" it is a true documentary, of what happened at
Ghraib. The people who ran this place needed harsher ways to interrogate prisoners,
because the other techniques had stopped working or had already violated the geneva
convention and the UN convention against torture. They in turn wrote a memo defining
"Harsh" or "extreme" torture. In doing so they enabled forced standing, sleep, food
and water deprivation, as well as stress positions, and dietary manipulation. The
soldiers would receive orders and would follow them, some with regret, which after a
while faded. Over 30,000 people were executed and burned at Ghraib. These weren't all
guilty people, some were innocent, and some were the families of innocent people.
They tortured children and adults. 
All of the videos we saw, showed how people react to authority. The Stanford prison
experiment, showed that people make the prison. Those among them who decide to act
defiant cause a chain reaction within the group. Those of the guards who chose to
first start using mental techniques caused a chain reaction through them all. In the
memory experiment, it showed the same things, if when focusing on a group one person
continues the rest will, and if one refuses the rest will also fall in line. In
Ghraib, we saw that when told by an authority figure, especially one with a history
of being ruthless (miller), the soldiers will not hesitate. Though the prisoners of
Ghraib didn't seem to start too much of a ruckus like those of the Stanford prison. I
suppose it is because in the Stanford prison the prisoners were more caught up in
being prisoners, and trying to gain some authority, whereas the innocent prisoners of
Ghraib seemed to be more upset about their families, and the shock of being taken in.

All of them were great examples of how easily we give into leadership, and what
signifies leadership. Weather it's a lab coat, a uniform, or a whistle, we seem to
give a lot of respect to those little objects that we never payed attention to, when
they weren't on someone else.

Comments 
branches says:   8 September 2010   923189  
People are easily shepherded?
owell who'da thunk it.
 
‹XxXThe_RavenXxX› says :   8 September 2010   723021  
yeah, its an essay i have to write and my computer doesnt have a word
document. 
but as obvious as it sounds, over 50% of the peopel tested in the
first experment when to 450 volts (very dangerous) and continued to
give that ammount because they were told to do so, despite the
scrreams of the learner in the other room. (which actualy was just a
paid actor but they didnt know that)
 

 
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