The Stanford Prison Experiment (see also the Wikipedia article) is taught to many psychology students because of its infamy and the media coverage around it at the time of the experiment. There have been numerous clear criticisms of the experiment's design and execution, notably; the coaching of the guards, implications of demands by Zimbardo, and the very small sample size.

Are there, however, any criticisms of the conclusions it came to? The idea that human beings are, if fed the right stressors (pressure from authority, freedom from consequence) able and willing to commit acts of violence is the one that sticks out to me - have there been other more rigorous (hopefully more ethical) studies done that support the conclusions the Prison Experiment came to? Or is the reason it is so widely taught because of its infamy and how it exemplifies poor experiment design?



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