In addition to distinctions involving the type of data and how directly it bears on the question, we can also distinguish among experimental applied ethics, experimental normative ethics, and experimental metaethics. Although the participants were initially informed of their right to withdraw their participation in the study, it was subsequently revoked. Experimental philosophers can agree with this objection, up to a point. When the prisoners were introduced to a priest, they referred to themselves by their prison number, rather than their first name. These philosophers have not necessarily embraced experimental moral philosophy, but many practitioners envision their projects as outgrowths of the naturalistic moral theories developed by Aristotle, Hume, and others. Ethically this experiment was over the line in many ways. There are a variety of such recurrent problems, and game theory has established a suite of analytical tools for diagnosing and solving them.
For example, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong 2008d , Eric Schwitzgebel, Fiery Cushman 2012 , and Peter Singer 2005 have recently followed this train of thought, arguing that moral intuitions are subject to normatively irrelevant situational influences e. The dehumanization they experienced from the guards carried over to their own interpersonal interactions, and soon they started deprecating each other. On this view, normative judgments about the action influence otherwise descriptive judgments about whether it was intentional or desired, or expected, etc. The prisoners became dejected and resulted in some of them suffering. In addition, the disgusted subject is typically motivated to avoid and even expunge the offending object, experiences it as contaminating and repugnant, becomes more attuned to other disgusting objects in the immediate environment, and is inclined to treat anything that the object comes in contact with whether physically or symbolically as also disgusting. The guards called in reinforcements. This was a partial replication of the Stanford prison experiment conducted with the assistance of the , which broadcast events in the study in a documentary series called.
A 1997 article from the Stanford News Service described experiment goals in a more detailed way: Zimbardo's primary reason for conducting the experiment was to focus on the power of roles, rules, symbols, group identity and situational validation of behavior that generally would repulse ordinary individuals. Explaining Value and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy, New York: Oxford University Press. Another response to these findings is that they reveal a kind of folk metaethical pluralism. The relationship between more traditional philosophy and experimental work is instructive and brings out some tensions within moral philosophy and theory: namely, morality is at once practical and normative, and these two aspects inform and constrain the extent to which it is accountable to human psychology. Insofar as morality is practical, it should be accessible to and attainable by agents like us: if a theory is too demanding, or relies on intuitions, judgments, motivations, or capacities that people do not or, worse, cannot possess, we might on those grounds dismiss it. It was conducted at between August 14—20, 1971, by a research group led by psychology professor using college students. Since experimentalists are reluctant to report and even discouraged by journal editors and referees from reporting null results i.
Although there were none of the prisoners had any long term effects from participating, while in the experiment they would be harassed and punished for no reason, which is where I think the experiment should have been discontinued. These kids don't have to go through experiments to witness horrible things. This was one week of my life when I was a teenager and yet here it is, 40 years later, and it's still something that had enough of an impact on society that people are still interested in it. The only thing that makes it an experiment is the random assignment to prisoners and guards, that's the independent variable. They were taken to the local police station where they were booked, fingerprinted, blindfolded, and transported to the Stanford Prison - also known as the Psychology department at Stanford University.
Most agreed and were denied parole. As an example that supports this idea happened on the fourth day when one guard detained prisoner 436 kept the him in a two-by-two feet closet for the night, without informing the observer researchers about the situation. With the exception of the riots, the prisoners accepted the inhumane treatment, and the majority did not attempt to leave. Occasionally, disputes between prisoner and guards got out of hand, violating an explicit injunction against physical force that both prisoners and guards had read prior to enrolling in the study. The Indians cried aloud, that he should not speak of so horrid an act.
A post-experimental debriefing is now considered an important ethical consideration in the design of a study and may serve to protect participants from further psychological harm and rehabilitate those affected by participation. As a young field, experimental philosophy suffers from various problems with experimental design and interpretation. These are not insurmountable problems, and they are problems faced by related fields, such as social psychology, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics. A second type of study involves investigating the causes and correlates of happiness, well-being, and life-satisfaction. Maltreatment of prisoners takes place all over the world. I really don't, and I'm getting involved with him? The participants were primarily white, middle class males who were college undergraduates. Philip Zimbardo on What Really Happened During the Stanford Prison Experiment.
So why was the Stanford Prison Experiment allowed to continue when the participants were psychologically traumatized and physically beaten? This is a reasonable goal, so according to the pragmatic revision model, the attribution asymmetry is rational, though misleading. Simply he was not able to remain an observer in his own experiment as him became internalized. The dehumanizing process began at the beginning of the experiment, when prisoners were instructed to strip naked and accelerated from then on. After converting the basement of the Stanford Psychology Department into a mock jail, it was decided that guards would wear uniforms derived from a military surplus store and prisoners would wear poorly-fitting muslin smocks and rubber sandals. We discuss both the negative program and the positive program below.
That is, just as people somehow can construct an extraordinarily rich system of knowledge of language on the basis of rather limited and degenerate experience, similarly, people develop implicit systems of moral evaluation, which are more or less uniform from person to person. Mark Alfano 2013 goes in a third direction, arguing that virtue and vice attributions tend to function as self-fulfilling prophecies. The Stanford Prison Experiment would not be allowed to be conducted today due to the various violations of ethics including depriving participants of the right to withdraw, informed consent, debriefing and the protection from physical and psychological harm. This effect has been replicated dozens of times, and its scope has been greatly expanded from intentionality attributions after violations of a moral norm to attributions of diverse properties after violations of a wide variety of norms. Mikhail 2011: 43—48 uses experimental evidence of judgments about trolley problems to argue that our moral judgments are generated by imposing a deontic structure on our representation of the causal and evaluative features of the action under consideration. It is a promise to abide by the standards of business conduct. Our discussion of this topic will focus on two types of research: the role of emotion in moral reasoning generally, and the role of one specific emotion—disgust—in moral judgments.
The prisoners were to stay in their cells and the yard all day and night until the end of the study. I teach at an inner-city high school in Oakland. He has studied the social psychology of madness and cults, shyness as a kind of self-imposed prison, and time perspective the way people come to be controlled by their overuse of past, present or future timeframes. The rest of this entry proceeds as follows. In general what all this leads to is a sense of powerlessness. What is the difference between experimental moral philosophy and metaethics? I think that these experiments might have been necessary to go through with to see why humans do the things we do, but they were both very unethical. Zimbardo has admitted that he did not initially believe the study would be unethical; however, in the aftermath, he realized the abuse suffered by the participants was unethical Drury, 2012.
In Milgram's 1965 experiment, the subjects were led to believe that they were delivering ever more powerful electric shocks to a stranger, on the orders of a white-coated researcher. In cases where one individual thinks or says that pistachio ice cream is delicious and another thinks or says that it is disgusting, we understand the two parties as expressing their own personal preference. Some recent papers claim to find a correlation between the two e. Their results and conclusions differed from Zimbardo's in that the prisoners largely came to dominate the guards. It was also ethical for him to continue, he said, in that more than 50 people came to look at the study in progress and did not register any objections before Maslach registered hers. Thus, on this model, the asymmetry in attributions is a distortion of the correct conception of intentionality desire, belief, etc.