The SPE Remains Debunked : A Reply to Zimbardo and Haney (2020)

January 24, 2020.

Thèmes liés : In English - Science

Le Texier (2019) conducted the first in-depth analysis of the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) archives, resulting in seven substantiated findings : (1) several key elements, such as the prison rules and daily schedule, were not created by the guards but were taken from a student experiment conducted 3 months earlier ; (2) the guards were not informed that they were participants, leading them to think they were part of the experimental team and thus impacting their behavior toward the prisoners ; (3) the prisoners could not leave of their own will and were subjected to harsh conditions designed by the experimenters ; (4) the guards not only knew what results Zimbardo wanted to achieve but were told how to achieve them ; (5) the participants were almost never completely immersed in the unrealistic prison situation, as Zimbardo has claimed ; (6) the collection and reporting of the data were incomplete and biased ; and (7) the conclusions of the SPE had been written in advance according to nonacademic aims. Zimbardo and Haney’s (2020) comment and Zimbardo’s (2018) online response to recent SPE criticisms did not address three of these findings and failed to present any evidence contradicting the other four. Thus, the SPE remains a debunked, invalid study whose results should be disregarded.

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