Stanford Prison Experiment Ethics Essay

Every day, we ought to make ethical choices. It is no wonder that ethic essays are quite familiar tasks in psychology. One project you will hardly miss in this field is the Stanford Prison Experiment ethics essay.

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Every individual has their opinion on whether a specific element is ethical or unethical. To support their point of view, an individual has to have valid justifications for why they take that stand. Instructors have widely tested students on ethics by assigning them the Stanford Prison Experiment ethics essay. They are curious to know how their students view such investigations on human beings. There are two ways an individual can view this experiment. These are either ethical or unethical. Instead of choosing a point of view in this ethics essay for students, instructors prefer if students have the power to choose their stand. It makes marking the Stanford Prison Experiment ethics essays of their students more fun due to the diverse opinions.

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How to Approach a Stanford Prison Experiment Ethics Essay

A Stanford Prison Experiment ethics essay is an essay like any other. It takes the same format as that of different pieces, meaning it has an introduction, body, and conclusion. However, it entails various tricks and twists that make the content more fascinating. Over time, psychology students have struggled with this task merely because they do not have a standard structure to follow. Here is a concise guide on how to write a Stanford Prison Experiment ethics essay:

Research on Your Topic

We already have our topic, and that is the Stanford Prison Experiment ethics essay. You cannot brainstorm ideas on such a piece as you would do in reflective writing. Instead, you have to go to the library or the internet and research thoroughly on what the Stanford Prison Experiment was or is, if at all, it is currently happening. The examination of the topic is essential for various reasons. One is that you get background information on your case. Second, you obtain evidence that helps in validating your point of view. Hence, you can easily pick an ethical or unethical standpoint. When researching this aspect, you will learn what this experiment entailed, where it was conducted, why, and who the subjects were. Ensure that research also helps in answering the Stanford prison experiment hypothesis you may have developed.

Content You Should Acquire from Research on the Stanford Prison Experiment 

By the end of your research, you should be able to answer the following questions relating to this theme:

Who conducted the Stanford Prison Experiment?

The Stanford Prison Experiment was an experiment conducted by Philip Zimbardo in 1971.

What did the experiment involve?

The experiment involved a group of twenty-four males being locked up in a pseudo-prison.

What was the aim of the experiment?

The Stanford prison experiment purpose was to see how individuals would perform their duties when they were given authority and power. This would be identified by evaluating how the guards met their guard duties after being given dominion over the prisoners.

How were the participants chosen?

The participants were volunteers. However, these males were assigned their roles by the flip of a coin. By flipping the coin, twelve males were selected as the prisoners, while the remaining twelve volunteers became guards.

What were the results of the experiment?

As expected, the results of the experiment were outrageous. The twelve prisoners suffered great torment. Some of them had constant mental breakdowns, which were accompanied by the crying, screaming, yelling, and curling up. In the case of the guards, the results were different from that of their prisoners. They were drunker in power and had little to no compassion for the people beneath them, who were the prisoners. They stripped them, dehumanized them, flogged them, and conducted more outrageous activities on them.

How long did the experiment last?

Initially, the experiment was intended to last for two weeks. However, due to the abnormal conditions and severe impacts on the prisoners, the experiment only lasted for six days. Within these six days, most prisoners have succumbed to stress, anxiety, and depression.

Take a Stand

You are required to take a stand and answer is the Stanford prison experiment ethical or not at this moment. Since you are now equipped with knowledge on what the Stanford Prison Experiment was, you can now accurately answer the question, ‘Was the Stanford Prison Experiment ethical?’ Answering this question with a yes or no implies that you are taking a stand in your Stanford Prison Experiment ethics essay. Note that your stand must also be accompanied by accurate proof from the experiment itself.

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Taking a Stand: Was the Experiment Ethical or Unethical?

Whatever viewpoint you are taking, ensure that you are drawing content from the Stanford Prison Experiment. If not, you will have a stand that tends to fall apart as you write your Stanford Prison Experiment ethics essay.

The Ethical Stand

A student can claim that the Stanford Prison Experiment was ethical. To support their viewpoint, they have to provide evidence showing how the Stanford Prison Experiment ethical. They can give an argument such as:

Back in that era, this experiment was typical. At the time, the investigation did not violate any laws since none had been set. If there were any laws put in place, they were minimal and had less impact.

With such an argument, you should now approach your essay from this point of view. Stick to this ethical stand throughout your Stanford Prison Experiment ethics essay.

The Unethical Point of View

Most individuals do not even read through the entire experiment before acknowledging that it is unethical. However, claims without backup do you no good in your Stanford Prison Experiment ethics essay. You should have evidence that the experiment was wrong. To help you in validating this stand you can ask yourself various questions such as:

Are there any laws that forbid such experiments?

Currently, we have laws that restrict any person experimenting while tormenting their subject. Even in the professional world, for example, psychologists are prohibited from conducting experiments that can oppress or mentally harm their patients. So, based on the current laws, the prison experiment by Zimbardo breaks these laws; hence, it becomes unethical.

What are the ethical issues in the Stanford Prison Experiment?

Also, evaluate if the experiment has any ethical issues that can make it be termed unethical. Many ethical issues can prompt a student to take such a viewpoint. These include:

A lack of full description in the consent form of the experiment activities

One ethical issue that can be found in this experiment is the lack of a detailed explanation of the activities that were to occur during the investigation. Philip Zimbardo did not take into consideration all the events that could happen, how they would appear, or even how he would avoid adverse effects in the experiment. As a result, it turns out the participants were ill-informed of the experiment activities in the consent form. In the end, it is this aspect that made the experiment unethical.

Physical harm being experienced by the prisoners despite the consent form indicating no harm whatsoever

Initially, the prisoners agreed to a consent form that acknowledged that they would not be physically harmed during the entire experiment. However, later on, the prisoners were hit by the guards, frogged, and even exposed to other physical abuse in the guards’ arms. It shows that the prisoners had been lied to, breaking their consent, perhaps to make them be part of the experiment.

Lack of training leading to violence

One ethical standard when it comes to experiments is the fact that all participants have to be trained on how to conduct their activities. However, in this case, the guards were subjected to no training. It is due to this that they became drunk with power and abused power given to them. As guards, they are not required to exert unnecessary force on the prisoners to the extent that the prisoners are hurt. However, this was not the case. The guards frogged and hit the prisoners so much. It shows how they were not familiar with their duties. It is this violence that made the experiment even end sooner than the expected termination date.

Create Your Essay Outline

Your Stanford Prison Experiment ethics essay should portray your ability to use argumentative reasoning. It should also show your ability to carefully and accurately organizing your ideas in a manner that creates flow and structure. A student has to create a draft for all these elements to be showcased in their Stanford Prison Experiment ethics essay. When developing a draft for the Stanford Prison Experiment ethics essay, there are specific aspects that should not miss in the outline. These include:

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The Thesis

The thesis is the profound argument that you are going to defend in your essay. It should tell a reader the stand you are talking about the Stanford Prison Experiment. It means that the thesis must show if you think the experiment is ethical or unethical.

Clear Arguments

The arguments must consist of points that you are going to use to defend your point of view. For example, if you believe that the Stanford Prison Experiment was unethical, have points proving this stand. Ensure that you start with the most conversant and verified argument to make your evidence more concrete.

The Citations

When writing the evidence, you will use in your essay, ensure that you also jot down the citations where you attained this information from. In-text citations will help in showing that the idea is not original but instead the work of another author. Similarly, it shows where a reader can attain more information on the cited text if at all, they need more details on the same.

Write a Clear Stanford Prison Experiment Ethics Essay Introduction

An excellent introduction of any essay is one that is brief and straight to the point. A student can write such an introduction if, at all, they accurately determine some factors. These include what the experiment is about, what is required of them, and the stand they will defend. If you choose to take the unethical viewpoint in this experiment, then let the reader know from the word go of your stand. However, you do not start the essay with phrases such as, ‘the Stanford Prison Experiment was unethical.’ No, you need to start with a hook sentence. It could be a misconception of the Stanford Prison Experiment, a fact, statistic, fascinating statement, or a question which you will have to answer down the line.


When individuals are put into the position of complete authority over others, they tend to show their true colors. Most people believe the power would make them fair, just, and ethical. However, by looking at the Stanford Prison Experiment, a lot of questions have been formulated about trusting people with power. In 1971, Philipp Zimbardo conducted one of the most ethically controversial psychological experiment dubbed the ‘Stanford Prison Experiment.’ His initial intention was to study how much an individual’s behavior is structured by the social role they occupy. He used 24 males with no criminal or psychological background to play the roles of prisoners and guards in a mock prison. 

Write the Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs contain the arguments that you are using to defend your thesis. It means that if your thesis portrayed the unethical stand, ensure you have arguments that can answer the question, ‘Why was the Stanford Prison Experiment considered unethical?’ The arguments must be presented systematically. It is because if you mix up one argument with another, you end up bringing confusion in your work. As a result, the reader misinterprets your evidence, which decreases your essay credibility. Thus, ensure that you discuss each argument in one paragraph to make it easier to address every argument in-depth. You can look at a Stanford prison experiment article or a Stanford prison experiment essay to see how the arguments are structured. However, do not copy-paste ideas. It can lead to plagiarism traces in your Stanford prison experiment ethics essay.

Write the Stanford Prison Experiment Ethics Essay Conclusion

The conclusion is one of the easiest yet trickiest part to write when tackling a Stanford prison experiment ethics essay. It is the part that tells the reader, ‘What did we learn from the Stanford Prison Experiment?’ Most students fall into the trap of introducing new ideas that are not present in their body paragraphs. Remember that new material in this section jeopardizes your rates of scooping good grades in this Stanford prison experiment ethics essay. It leads us to the question, ‘what do you write in conclusion?’

What to Include in the Conclusion of Your Stanford Prison Experiment Ethics Essay

In this segment, a student must restate their thesis statement and write a summary of the content in their previous paragraphs. Additionally, a student must remember to point out the ethical issue they are discussing in the essay. End the conclusion by mentioning your point of view in the Stanford prison experiment and why your position matters or is accurate.

Proofread and Edit Your Stanford Prison Experiment Ethics Essay

Your Stanford prison experiment ethics essay has to be easy to read and understand. You can only verify that your writing meets these criteria by reading it over and over until you have corrected all possible errors. As you read, you might discover that some arguments are not well justified, making it hard to understand. In such a case, go back to the drawing board, research, rephrase, and justify. You can also identify that you have used redundant or repetitive sentences. If not, you may have been vague or have used more information than expected. Revise your Stanford prison experiment ethics essay to correct these and other mistakes such as wrong punctuations, misspellings, grammatical errors, and so on.

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Get Your Stanford Prison Experiment Ethics Essay from My Homework Writers

Writing an ethics essay, more so a Stanford prison experiment ethics essay, can be daunting, time-consuming, and nerve-wracking. It is for these reasons that most psychological students have opted to hire a psychology essay help websites to help them out with such tasks. If you have a Stanford prison experiment ethics essay, then trust with this task. The psychology essay help website is a hub of qualified, skilled, and experienced writers that can help you ace your Stanford prison experiment ethics essay. All you have to do is click on the order button, specify your essay instructions, and leave the rest to these experts. What are you waiting for? Click on the order button this very minute.

In psychology, most tasks tend to test on the ethical aspect, testing on how psychology students view and integrate ethics in their practice. Due to this, you will see them being assigned tasks such as the Stanford prison experiment ethics essay. It is a fascinating task that can, however, turn salty quickly if one does not know how to tackle it. My Homework Writers is an accredited psychology essay help website that can help you with this task.

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