What happened in the basement of the psych building 40 years ago shocked the world. How do the guards, prisoners and researchers in the Stanford Prison Experiment feel about it now?
BY ROMESH RATNESAR
IT BEGAN with an ad in the classifieds.
Male college students needed for psychological study of prison life. $15 per day for 1-2 weeks. More than 70 people volunteered to take part in the study, to be conducted in a fake prison housed inside Jordan Hall, on Stanford’s Main Quad. The leader of the study was 38-year-old psychology professor Philip Zimbardo. He and his fellow researchers selected 24 applicants and randomly assigned each to be a prisoner or a guard.
Zimbardo encouraged the guards to think of themselves as actual guards in a real prison. He made clear that prisoners could not be physically harmed, but said the guards should try to create an atmosphere in which the prisoners felt “powerless.”
The study began on Sunday, August 17, 1971. But no one knew what, exactly, they were getting into. Continue reading “The Menace Within”
American rage at Pakistan over the punishment of a CIA-cooperating Pakistani doctor is quite revealing
SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2012 05:53 PM BDT
Americans of all types ? are just livid that a Pakistani tribal court (reportedly in consultation with Pakistani officials) has?imposed?a 33-year prison sentence on Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani physician who secretly worked with the CIA to find Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil. Their fury tracks the standard American media narrative: by punishing Dr. Afridi for the ?crime? of helping the U.S. find bin Laden, Pakistan has revealed that it sympathizes with Al Qaeda and is hostile to the U.S. (NPR headline: ?33 Years In Prison For Pakistani Doctor Who Aided Hunt For Bin Laden?;?NYT?headline: ?Prison Term for Helping C.I.A. Find Bin Laden?). Except that?s a woefully incomplete narrative: incomplete to the point of being quite misleading.
March 12, 2012
No sooner had Khader Adnan ended his 66-day life-threatening hunger strike than new urgent concerns are being voiced for Hana Shalabi, another West Bank hunger striker now without food for more than 24 days. Both strikes were directed by Palestinian activists against the abusive use of administrative detention by Israeli West Bank occupying military forces, protesting both the practice of internment without charges or trial and the degrading and physically harsh treatment administered during the arrest, interrogation, and detention process.
The case of Hana Shalabi should move even the most hardhearted. She seems a young tender and normal woman who is a member of Islamic Jihad, and is dedicated to her family, hopes for marriage, and simple pleasures of shopping. Continue reading “Hana Shalabi: The Bravest Form of Nonviolence”