Social: Reicher & Haslam (2006)

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The BBC Prison Experiment

One of the most widely known studies in psychology is Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment which attempted to show the power of the situation and social roles on behaviour. Previous explanations suggest that group psychology always moves in the direction of extreme anti-social behaviour and when in a group individuals lose their self-identity (deindividuation) and become capable of barbaric acts.

Reicher and Haslam replicated (in part) this concept and recreated a prison environment to identify the effects of Social Identity Theory on how groups form and if tyranny occurs. They asked what are the conditions under which people DO or DO NOT assume (conform to) allocated social roles? To achieve this they to created an institution ‘like’ a prison to investigate the behaviour of groups that are unequal in resources, power and status. Read more about the study here.

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  1. Reicher and Haslam « psychologyforstudents - September 18, 2011

    […] This is a link to where you can read the original study: http://www.psychblog.co.uk/where-to-start/social-reicher-haslam-2006 […]

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