• Prelude
  • Setting Up
  • Arrival
  • Guards
  • Rebellion
  • Grievances
  • Escape
  • Conclusion

Slide Tour

On the last day, we held a series of encounter sessions, first with all the guards, then with all the prisoners (including those who had been released earlier), and finally with the guards, prisoners, and staff together. We did this in order to get everyone's feelings out in the open, to recount what we had observed in each other and ourselves, and to share our experiences, which to each of us had been quite profound.

We also tried to make this a time for moral reeducation by discussing the conflicts posed by this simulation and our behavior. For example, we reviewed the moral alternatives that had been available to us, so that we would be better equipped to behave morally in future real-life situations, avoiding or opposing situations that might transform ordinary individuals into willing perpetrators or victims of evil.

Discussion

In the encounter sessions, all the prisoners were happy the experiment was over, but most of the guards were upset that the study was terminated prematurely. Why do you think the guards reacted this way?

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