Daily Archives: August 14, 2015

The Stanford prison experiment

Despite the evil of Abu Ghraib, The Stanford prison experiment  was even more profound and controversial in its results. It confirmed human frailty Power abuse causality. Power is abused. Power is abused absolutely.Darth Vader

The Stanford prison experiment (SPE) was a study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard.

18 College volunteers were divided into one group of nine uniformed prisoners and one group of nine uniformed prison guards to play act a two week experiment in a mock dungeon.

This study was abruptly canceled the sixth day as five prisoners had emotional breakdowns. The guards enforced authoritarian measures and ultimately subjected some of the prisoners to psychological torture including sadism just like Abu Ghraib.

Repeating: this was all suppose to be playacting, everything mock, yet it still descended into evil.

In his book, The Lucifer EffectZimbardo candidly looks back over the experiment and says, ‘Only a few people were able to resist the situational temptations


to yield to power and dominance while maintaining some semblance of morality and decency.

Midpen people put their uniform on every morning and this gives them license to abuse power with corruption of values and their attendant attitudes:

  • arrogance: Midpen people  know they have impunity and unsupervised power


  • snark
  • prima donna: I’ve been a Manager 10 years therefore I’m
  • you better respect me despite my institutionalized laziness because
  • I have the power to evict you from California or, if a fellow employee, to mess with your career

these attitudes  going all the way to the Sobeck top.