The Real Lesson of the Stanford Prison Experiment

This article from the New Yorker reviews the legacy of the Stanford Prison Experiment and its subsequent iterations. Its findings are consistent—extreme behavior flows from extreme institutions. This challenge's Luther's argument that "a good or a bad house does not make a good or a bad builder."

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On the morning of August 17, 1971, nine young men in the Palo Alto area received visits from local police officers. While their neighbors looked on, the men were arrested for violating Penal Codes 211 and 459 (armed robbery and burglary), searched, handcuffed, and led into the rear of a waiting police car. The cars took them to a Palo Alto police station, where the men were booked, fingerprinted, moved to a holding cell, and blindfolded. Finally, they were transported to the Stanford County Prison—also known as the Stanford University psychology department. Read more...