26 September 2014
1. What police procedures are used during arrests, and how do these procedures lead people to feel confused, fearful, and dehumanized?
There are many police procedures that are used during arrests. Suspects are handcuffed, put into a police car, booked at the station, read their Miranda rights, identified, and taken to a holding cell. The specific behaviors used by law enforcement during these procedures are what tend to make those arrested feel dehumanized, fearful, and confused. The slideshow points out that suspects are thrown into a small cell and blindfolded. Law enforcement treat arrestees like they are less human than them, and by blindfolding them in such a confused state, it shows a lack of respect for the suspects.
2. If you were a guard, what type of guard would you have become? How sure are you?
It’s hard to say how I would react in a situation like this, I am not a leader by nature, so I would probably go along and follow whatever the other guards were doing, whether right or wrong. In a work environment, especially when my income is on the line, I tend to not like to make scenes or stand up for myself, and would rather follow what my peers are doing.
3. What prevented "good guards" from objecting or countermanding the orders from tough or bad guards?
I think that there could be a few reasons why the “good guard” didn’t speak up and followed the orders of the tougher guards. One would be that they may just have personalities closer to mine, where they are followers, and they would rather follow the orders of the “bad” guards than to speak up. Another reason is that because the guards were thrown into the experiment at the same time, the treatment of the prisoners seemed “normal” from the beginning, since the tough guards were giving those types of orders at the start.
4. If you were a prisoner, would you have been able to endure the experience? What would you have done differently than those subjects did? If you were imprisoned in a "real" prison for five years or more, could you take it?
This is another question that is hard to answer, because it’s really difficult to gauge how I would react in such an extreme environment. However, I do think I could endure the experience if it was set up like the experiment. I feel like if I knew it was an experiment, I would be able to get by just keeping in mind that it’s temporary, unlike some of the subjects did. I think in a real prison, I could survive physically, but my mental state would completely deteriorate within a few months.
5. Why did our prisoners try to work within the arbitrary prison system to effect a change in it (e.g., setting up a Grievance Committee), rather than trying to dismantle or change the system through outside help?
I think that because the prisoners knew the situation they were in, they did not reach out to outside sources for help about what was going on inside the prison.
6. What factors would lead prisoners to attribute guard brutality to the guards' disposition or character, rather than to the situation?
Prisoners attributed the brutality to the guards character rather than to their situation, because from their perspective, all they saw was their peers being treated terribly by the guards, and the easiest thing to blame it on is the fact that the guards may just be bad people, rather than assessing that the situation they are currently in has encouraged the guards to act that way.
7. What is "reality" in a prison setting? This study is one in which an illusion of imprisonment was created, but when do illusions become real? Contrast consensual reality and physical or biological reality, and explain the implications of the following poem (by PGZ):
Within the illusion of life,
Death is the only reality, but is Reality the only death?
Within the reality of imprisonment,
Illusion is the only freedom, but is Freedom the