Term Paper As part of the inherent human nature to categorize people and label individuals with specific personality traits, we tend to separate moral people from evil people using schemas. When looking at this phenomenon in humanity and observing social behavior, it becomes self presented that people are not strictly black and white in terms of morality; people who we categorize as good hearted can have evil streaks, and people who we typically see as immoral can show occasional patterns of good-heartedness. This, of course, is all dependent on the social predicament that the person finds themselves in. The most eminent example of this psychological theory was studied through the Stanford Prison Experiment of 1971, where a group of healthy, psychologically sound college students volunteered to simulate a prison situation. There were guard and prisoner roles, that were assigned randomly. No young man was more likely to be picked for either role, as the assignment was arbitrary and the boys were in similar health condition. This intended two week study wound up being halted after merely six days, due to its extremely adverse psychological influence on the young men, and even the experimenters themselves. The study was carried out by psychologist Dr. Philip Zimbardo and his team, who set up a simulated prison in the Stanford Psychology Building’s basement. Twenty-four undergraduate students were selected carefully after intensive verification of their physical and mental health, as well as their criminal and toxicology backgrounds, and were deemed fit for this study. Yet, as later seen, these seemingly mentally-sound men quickly experienced a deterioration of mental state. There were eleven guards and ten prisoners, after there were “two reserves and one dropped out,” (McLeod, S. (1970)) In essence, the prisoners and guards alike were expected to play their role and the mock prison quickly became akin to a real one. The “prisoners” were “arrested” at their homes unexpectedly and went through the legal process of going to prison. Upon their arrival, the removal of not only their material belongings, but their sense of identity took place. Prisoners’ clothing and belongings were taken away as they were stripped, deloused, and put stockings over their heads (to simulate shaving their hair, which is a symbol of individual personality (Zimbardo, P. (n.d.)) Quickly, the prison guards began to impose harsh punishments on the prisoners, through verbal abuse and the pushing of physical boundaries. Some punishments, or even rituals that took place when the prisoners didn’t misbehave included chaining prisoners together, yelling at them, waking them at 2:30 am for drills, forcing them to do extensive pushups, and sexually abusing them. This quickly caused the prisoners to break down, which happened in two cases. According to the study’s website, prisoners numbered 8612 and 819 went through extreme emotional distress, showing signs such as uncontrollable sobbing and psychosomatic ailments. While Dr. Zimbardo attempted to relieve the stress of these two young men, it took coaching for them to realize that they weren’t actually prisoners, and that this was a psychological experiment. Due to these exploits and others uncharted, the study that was intended to last two weeks was ceased after six days, not even reaching the halfway mark. The guards seemed to show signs of disappointment when the study ended (Zimbardo, P. (n.d.)) This is because while outside observers realize that this was merely an experiment, those who were involved directly become completely immersed in their roles.  Not only did the prisoners feel as if they were criminals without personalities and the guards feel like legitimate power authorities, but even Dr. Zimbardo took great gusto in acting as the prison warden, even stating that he felt threatened when the order of the prison was at stake (Zimbardo, P. (n.d.)). This study comes to show that when moral people are placed in a less civilized environment, such as a prison, they become completely immersed in behavior they would never otherwise commit. When confined to the prison, the prisoners felt no choice but to commit to a role that eventually took over their psyches. With nothing else to ponder, and the process of deindividuation in full swing, the prisoners seemed to forget their outside lives almost completely. In fact, 90% of the recorded conversations were about prison life, and the remaining 10% were about the lives the prisoners led in reality (McLeod, S. (1970)). In addition, groupthink and the human desire to maintain cohesiveness came into sight. The guards partook in groupthink in the way that they harassed the prisoners to assert power. The prisoners themselves acted in groupthink particularly when individual prisoners tried to rebel or didn’t listen to the guards. When cohesion and conformity were broken, the majority of prisoners banded together to shame the “outcast,” which happened to be prisoner 819 in this situation. After the experiment ended, Dr. Zimbardo took strides to see if the experiment had any damaging, long term effects on the participants, and it did not. It is evident through this study that people who act moral in civilization can completely decay through the absence of a stabilized situation. Morally demeaning environments cause people to succumb to deindividuation, groupthink, and complete immersement in behaviors they would never commit outside of the particular situation. This was eventually coined as the “Lucifer Effect.” The different components and results of this study have been discussed in several peer reviewed journals. In a peer reviewed journal by Donald F. Sacco and Michael J. Bernstein, the scientific proof of tension between ingroups and outgroups is explored. The journal,”Social Inclusion Leads Individuals to Devalue Groups of Perceived Inferior Quality” discusses how the human need for group inclusion can lead ingroup members of a certain group to discriminate against outgroups, which they naturally view to be inferior. According to this journal, “individuals primed with social inclusion might display a differential tendency to derive self esteem benefits from groups to which they belong. For example, past research demonstrates that individuals will attempt to distance themselves, psychologically, from a group that they belong to (social mobility) if that group possesses negative distinctiveness (Jackson, Sullivan, Harnish, & Hodge, 1996).” This hypothesis was tested through two experiments; one had the hypothesis that individuals with varying levels of Collective Self Esteem (CSE), which is the level of self esteem one receives from being an ingroup member, would display different levels of their CSE based on whether they have been socially included or excluded. This was to be tested using the CSES, or the Collective Self Esteem Scale, a questionnaire which “assesses how individuals privately evaluate their social groups,” as well as the Basic Needs Scale, which tests belonging, control, self esteem, and meaningful existence (Sacco, D. F., & Bernstein, M. J. (2015)). The second experiment tested the hypothesis that individuals with experiences of social inclusion would use wisdom when making decisions in various social affiliative situations. This too used the Basic Needs Questionnaire, but in addition used the Greek Life questionnaire, which tested the level of value students had for particular fraternities or sororities that varied in entry level and exclusivity. Both studies tested the individuals using their respective questionnaires. The results are consistent with the hypotheses, showing that people who belonged to positive social groups showed higher levels of self esteem and those individuals avoided associating with perceived negative outgroups due to their satisfied belongingness needs. This relates to the Stanford Prison Study because it shows how the prison guards, or the perceived positive group, gained esteem from their membership of that group and used this esteem to assert dominance over the prisoners, or the perceived negative group. The prison guards avoided association with the prisoners unless it was in a demanding and domineering manner, rather than one of amiability which they naturally avoided because of their satisfaction from their ingroup membership. Another peer reviewed journal that delved into similar topics as the Stanford Prison Study was “Temporality in Psychosis: Loss of Lived Time in an Alien World” by Marina Denischik. The study suggests that temporal lapses of reality can cause a person to enter a psychosis, as in a simulated jail scenario, and “the meaningful dimension of life dwindles,” (Denischik, (2015)). Without a sense of perspective and changing time in life, “there is no linear time of the soul” as what is real and what is perceived begin to not match up, according to this model of the temporal structure of psychic life. The journal uses many of Sigmund Freud’s and Jacques Marie Emile Lacan’s developments in the area of psychosis. One of the ways this temporality in psychosis is explained is through Freud’s concept of nonlinear buildup of psychic events. In this section, it is outlined that Freud characterizes trauma as an event that causes so much adverse stimulation that the individual being affected experiences a deficit in the ability to psychologically function. To deal with trauma, according to Freud, the psyche produces “an opposing charge of energy is generated that, in ”mentally ‘binding”’ ((Denischik, (2015))) the invading charge, discontinues its destructive effects. To be capable of responding to a traumatic occurrence by resisting it, a person’s mental defenses must be raised,” (Denischik, (2015)). Alas, however, most traumatic events occur spontaneously and the individual isn’t well prepared to deal with the consequences of such events, therefore this progression of traumatic events in life is considered nonlinear. The next section of this review discusses Freud’s concept of the analysis of psychic time. According to the psychoanalyst, individuals who have not properly dealt with past traumas interfere with the unfolding of time, by letting past traumas undealt with create anxiety for the present as well as the future. In other words, “In comparison to the allure of the projected trauma of the past, the significance of both the present and the future diminishes,” (Denischik, (2015)). Lacan, the second psychoanalyst whose views are being discussed, elaborates by saying that whatever has been lost by the individual from a trauma they have experienced in the past makes it impossible for them to implement coping mechanisms, leading to an existence of “ineffable nothingness,” (Denischik, (2015)). This state is known as psychosis, characterized by its deficit of ability to explain a past trauma with retrospect and wisdom. The following section focuses on the marriage of temporality and psychosis, and the influence of temporal modification. Simply put, the review states, “That an analysis of one’s psychic being cannot be divorced from an understanding of one’s temporal being is evident from a consideration of the codependency of the psychic and the temporal beings. Modifications in temporal structures presuppose changes to psychological makeup and vice versa,” (Denischik, (2015)). Time in this state becomes arbitrary without a distinctly guiding pattern, leaving no room for cognition, according to Freud and Lacan. This is because time in this state is viewed as abstract instead of lived, and there is no engagement for higher level thinking. The final section discusses the “disruptive force of unbound physical stimuli and psychotic delusion.” Freud says that the traumatic stimuli, whether it is internal or external, and its subsequent reaction is the “energy” needed to drive a person’s life. When the fabrics of time are distorted by temporal modification, the drives obtained from the past traumatic events are “unbound” and the person cannot retrieve them from within their own psyche. The effect, according to Freud, is similar to “traumatic neurosis.” In addition, according to the journal, “There is no longer an ”I” that has a past that belongs to this person, who I am… In order to trust again in the engaging character of the world, the sense of a continuous, meaningful unfolding of lived time has to be regained. The entry back into life where others are present, and into a world that is engaging, is marked by the arrival of temporality.”  (Denischik, (2015)). Essentially, all four of these sections tie into the Stanford Prison Experiment. Temporal modification is implemented through the forced prison scene, which becomes lifelike and the concept of time is overshadowed by constant routine punishment. The importance of the outside world diminished, and the prisoners lost their sense of self. They experienced anxiety from past punishments, and were not provided the “warm” emotional environment to create self defense mechanisms, therefore becoming riddled with anxiety at the presence of new traumatic stimuli. This is evident in prisoners 8612 and 819 who both broke down at traumatic incidents. However, as the last section states, the prisoners were able to assimilate back into society where time is linear. This is why the experiment had no long lasting adverse effects on the participants. The last peer review journal contains an empirical study that proves the negative effects of groupthink, but in a modern setting. Many communications occur over the digital plane, and groupthink is especially evident in virtual groups. Groupthink is a phenomenon in social psychology in which groups make overly cautious and rash decisions that place more value on the group than a logical decision. According to this study, the “antecedents of groupthink” include cohesiveness, insulation, directive leadership, and stress. Due to all of these factors, groups in a virtual community tend to act out in group think; a desire to maintain popular consensus, insulation from outside opinion, a clear and strong leader, and stress from a pressing situation are all factors that make a group susceptible to groupthink. The effects of each antecedent varies, however, in its positive and negative effects. The hypothesis at hand is that stress and group insulation have a positive influence on groupthink and group cohesion have a negative effect on it. In the virtual world, groupthink is overall negative for the community in the way that it promotes cognitive dissonance and post-purchase regret for customers, according to other studies mentioned in the journal. The procedure for this study used a non-incentivised survey posted in an online financial community, uk.advfn.com, which has two million registered users and twelve thousand posts a day.  The procedure was as follows; “The survey instrument was constructed using established scales from the group psychology literature. Group cohesiveness (6 items), directional leadership (3 items) and group insulation (4 items) were all measured using the Groupthink Assessment Inventory by Montanari and Moorhead (1989). Stress (4 items) was captured using the Short Form Perceived Stress Scale (Warttig, Forshaw, South,& White, 2013) and groupthink (4 items) was established via the conformity-seeking scale from the Aspiration Index (Grouzet, Kasser, Ahuvia, Dols, Kim, Lau, Ryan, Saunders, Schmuch, & Sheldon, 2005). All instruments were measured on a five point Likert scale (1 = ‘strongly disagree’ to 5 = ‘strongly agree.’)” (Breitsohl, J., Wilcox-Jones, J. P., & Harris, I. (2015)) The results of this study show that, ” Following composite scale reliability tests, the Cronbach Alpha scores for group cohesiveness (.84), group insulation (.73), groupthink (.82) and stress (.87) were above the recommended .7 (Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994), whilst directive leadership recorded .61.” (Breitsohl, J., Wilcox-Jones, J. P., & Harris, I. (2015)) This shows that groupthink is a result of all four antecedents, with stress being the most driving force. This relates to the Stanford Prison Study by showing that groups act rashly and illogically according to the desire to maintain cohesion, insulation from outside opinion, directive authority, and stress. All of these factors were present in the Stanford Prison Study; the guards and prisoners alike acted to maintain conformity, leading the guards to use aggressive force and the prisoners to abuse outcasts, insulation was provided by the isolated jail scenario with hardly any contact from the outside world (aside from a family visit that was only allotted once), directive authority from the guards and Zimbardo himself, and stress from the traumatic nature of a jail scenario.   Overall, The Stanford Prison Experiment was a groundbreaking study that revealed a lot about how evil tendencies may prevail in certain group situations. According to empirical studies and reviews, the forces of ingroup and outgroup tension, loss of temporality in psychosis, and the negative influence of groupthink, people in a situation that is stressful can make decisions that are illogical. The loss of reality and a concept of time can lead to psychosis, that can be mediated once the individual is reintroduced to society. The presence of ingroups and outgroups causes tension between the two and can lead to discrimination. Overall, many psychological phenomena have been surfaced and further studied from an experiment that was never expected to be so revolutionary.

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