Friday, October 22, 2004

Conspicuous Omissions

The Stanford Prison Experiment
+ The Milgram Experiment
= Abu Ghraib?
The Stanford Prison Experiment: a landmark 1971 psychological study of the human response to captivity, in particular, to the real world circumstances of prison life, conducted iy a team of researchers led by Philip Zimbardo of Stanford University. Volunteers played the roles of guard and prisoner, and lived in a mock prison. However, the experiment quickly got out of hand, and was ended after only 6 days.

The Milgram Experiment: a famous scientific experiment of social psychology, conducted circa 1963 by Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University, to measure the willingness of a participant to obey an authority who instructs the participant to do something that may conflict with the participant's personal conscience. 65% of participants demonstrated sadistic behaviour, a percentage that remains remarkably constant when the experiment has been replicated by other researchers.

[Herr van der Rohe was correct that God is in the details. If you are not familiar with the studies, I encourage you to follow the links to learn more.]

Why isn't everyone talking about both of these studies, everywhere, all the time, in reference to Abu Ghraib?

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