“The definition of attitude provided by David Myers (the author of several Introduction to Psychology textbooks)

“The definition of attitude provided by David Myers (the author of several Introduction to Psychology textbooks) reads, “Attitudes are feelings, based on our beliefs, that predispose our reactions to objects, people, and events.” Zimbardo’s prison experiment illustrates all of the variables found in this definition. Attitudes affect actions: Once students were assigned roles and given the “tools and clothing or costumes” associated with those roles, they began to behave in the way they thought was befitting of the roles (the guards acted aggressive and authoritative, and the prisoners acted submissive or subordinated.) But then, the play-acting began to reveal characteristics in the participants, as their role-playing became part of who they were. Actions affected attitudes: Some students demonstrated behaviors that were uncharacteristic of their usual behaviors because they had accepted their experiment roles as an extension of themselves. Once experiment participants crossed the line into questionable territory with their behaviors (guards became abusers, prisoners became collaborators or believers), it created a tension that their attitudes and actions weren’t coinciding (called cognitive dissonance). To relieve this, the participants changed their attitudes to rationalize their behaviors.”


Please watch the following clip on the Stanford Prison Study and follow the instructions.


Stanford Prison ExperimentLinks to an external site.


After watching the video, please create a Blog addressing the following questions:


What did Zimbardo’s study show?

How did the prisoners and guards conform to their roles during the experiment? How did even Zimbardo, the psychologist experimenting, work to his role as a prison superintendent?

What are Zimbardo’s conclusions about human behavior based on this experiment?

In 2003, US soldiers abused Iraqi prisoners held at Abu Ghraib, 20 miles west of Baghdad. The prisoners were stripped, made to wear bags over their heads, and sexually humiliated while the guards laughed and took photographs. How is this abuse similar to or different from what took place in the Stanford Prison Experiment?

You can either number your responses or break them into paragraphs for clarity. This helps the reader know that the writer understands what question they are answering.


Get creative! Attach a picture, video, etc., to make your intro more interesting!


Please elaborate by providing examples—the minimum word requirement is 500 words. This does not include retyping the questions.

“The definition of attitude provided by David Myers (the author of several Introduction to Psychology textbooks)

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