Was the Stanford Prison Experiment “ethical” according to the ASA’s Code of Ethics? Explain

Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 300–500 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.

Conformity and Obedience

The Stanford Prison Experiments were some of the most famous studies on conformity and obedience in modern history. Go to this link to learn more about these experiments.

Part 1

Answer the following questions:

  • Some of the prison guards in this experiment exhibited cruel and violent behaviors. According to participants, this behavior was very different from their typical behavior. How would you explain this phenomenon?
  • Do you think that anyone participating in this experiment would have handled this situation in a fashion similar to those who participated? Explain your answer.
  • In your opinion, did Zimbardo’s work on this experiment contribute to a deeper understanding of society? Explain your answer.

Part 2

Review the American Sociological Association’s (ASA’s) Code of Ethics regarding the following research ethics topics:

  1. Professional Competence
  2. Integrity
  3. Professional and Scientific Responsibility
  4. Respect for People’s Rights, Dignity, and Diversity
  5. Social Responsibility

Answer the following questions:

  • Was the Stanford Prison Experiment “ethical” according to the ASA’s Code of Ethics?
  • Was the controversy worth the findings that this study revealed?

Part 3

Responses to Other Students: Respond to at least 2 of your fellow classmates with at least a 100-word reply about their Primary Task Response regarding items you found to be compelling and enlightening. To help you with your discussion, please consider the following questions:

  • What did you learn from your classmate’s posting?
  • What additional questions do you have after reading the posting?
  • What clarification do you need regarding the posting?
  • What differences or similarities do you see between your posting and other classmates’ postings?


Zimbardo, P. H. (2014). Stanford Prison Experiment. Retrieved from: http://www.prisonexp.org/

American Sociological Association. (n.d.). ASA code of ethics. Retrieved fromhttp://www.asanet.org/about/ethics.cfm

For assistance with your assignment, please use your text, Web resources, and all course materials.

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