Quiet Rage: The Stanford Prison Experiment
About the Stanford Prison Experiment
In the summer of 1971, Philip Zimbardo, Craig Haney, and Curtis Banks carried out a psychological experiment to test a simple question: What happens when you put good people in an evil place – does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? To explore this question, college student volunteers were pretested and randomly assigned to play the role of prisoner or guard in a simulated prison at Stanford University. Although the students were mentally healthy and knew they were taking part in an experiment, some guards soon became sadistic and the prisoners showed signs of acute stress and depression. After only six days, the planned two-week study spun out of control and had to be ended to prevent further abuse of the prisoners. This dramatic demonstration of power of social situations is relevant to many institutional settings, such as the Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq.
About the Film
Quiet Rage is a 50-minute documentary film from the study, as well as a bonus 70 images slide show of archival photographs from the study. The film has been shown in thousands of classrooms around the world and is sure to stimulate critical thinking and discussion. Narrated by Philip Zimbardo, the documentary uses original footage, flashbacks, post-experiment interviews with prisoners and guards, and comparisons with real-life prisons.
About Philip G. Zimbardo
Philip Zimbardo is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University and an internationally recognized scholar, educator, and media personality, winning numerous awards in each of these areas. He is also former president of the American Psychological Association, host of the PBS television series Discovering Psychology, and author of more than 300 publications.