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CBC The Fifth Estate: Death Behind Bars (2017)

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The Lucifer Effect - Zimbardo Stanford Prison Experiment

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The Lucifer Effect - Zimbardo Stanford Prison Experiment Stanford Prison Experiment Description: Forty years later, the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) remains among the most notable — and notorious — research projects ever carried out. For six days, half the study's participants endured cruel and dehumanizing abuse at the hands of their peers. At various times, they were taunted, stripped naked, deprived of sleep and forced to use plastic buckets as toilets. Some of them rebelled violently; others became hysterical or withdrew into despair. As the situation descended into chaos, the researchers stood by and watched—until one of their colleagues finally spoke out. The public's fascination with the SPE and its implications — the notion, as Zimbardo says, "that these ordinary college students could do such terrible things when caught in that situation" — brought Zimbardo international renown. It also provoked criticism from other researchers, who questioned the ethics of subjecting student volunteers to such extreme emotional trauma. The study had been approved by Stanford's Human Subjects Research Committee, and Zimbardo says that "neither they nor we could have imagined" that the guards would treat the prisoners so inhumanely. In 1973, an investigation by the American Psychological Association concluded that the prison study had satisfied the profession's existing ethical standards. But in subsequent years, those guidelines were revised to prohibit human-subject simulations modeled on the SPE. "No behavioral research that puts people in that kind of setting can ever be done again in America," Zimbardo says. The Stanford Prison Experiment became the subject of numerous books and documentaries. In the last decade, after the revelations of abuses committed by U.S. military and intelligence personnel at prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, the SPE provided lessons in how good people placed in adverse conditions can act barbarically. comment: The very same society having murdered millions of people in its futile wars claims such highly revealing experiments to be "unethical". Do you realize how utterly absurd and hypocritical this is? Such experiments may help us understand the true nature of the human psyche, and if there's one chance for humanity to avoid future wars, then it is by understanding the depths of the human psyche. Such experiments may be our very last chance, because the next war could well be the last one. The true reason for western society's utterly absurd pseudo-moralistic double-standards could itself be a research topic for an extended psychological study. Let's us not forget that terrible abuse of power, rapes, torture, humiliation, isolation, desperation are going on in thousands of U.S. prisons on a daily basis, and no one seems to care, but experiments such as the Stanford Prison Experiment are said to be "unethical". Do you realize that 10 percent of all U.S. inmates are completely innocent - that's 10 percent of two million inmates = 200'000 people, and no one claims this to be "unethical". Crimes are being manufactured by labelling completely innocent behaviour, so called "crimes without victims" as "crimes", such as smoking Marihuana. Indeed, our society has a strange sense of ethics. tags: Stanford Prison Experiment, psychology, experiment, stress, aggression, prison, victims, sadism, power

BBC Our World - Pardon Me, Mr President (2015)

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The War on Drugs in the United States led to a huge increase in America's prison population. For decades, hundreds of thousands of people convicted of even minor drug crimes received long jail terms. President Obama says this has been counter-productive, consigning generations of young people to jail. Under a new presidential clemency initiative thousands of drug offenders can apply for early release.

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