das experiment

category: general [glöplog]
I hesitated to post that bulletin, but why not?
Yesterday I saw 'Das Experiment' and saying the truth I am a li'l shocked. Some things in the movie surely where emphasized or even changed and exaggerated, but the experiment really took place at the Stanford Univ. in 1971 and was prematurely interrupted, cause the guards fancied their 'power' too much.
Reading some forums, posts (not only on pouet) I encounter lotsa disrespect like 'I will show I am not a sissy like you'. Generally speaking (not only 'bout forums) do you guys really think that killing instinct is our guide?
added on the 2003-11-23 16:31:26 by sim sim
The movie didn't exaggerate 'some things'. It REALLY exaggerated. Which is kinda the point of making popular entertainment ofcourse, but you may want to check out the original experiment's website for more info.
added on the 2003-11-23 16:45:57 by sagacity sagacity
i believe that in general, no "killing instinct" is our guide; but i think there are some psychological mechanisms that can make us act cruel or at least justify cruelty. some people like to feel superior and degrade others, and that can lead to a group dynamic. perhaps you can see it in everyday life, where such things occur in a very soft shape.

btw, i also liked "das experiment" when i saw it in cinema, but it is a "good movie" only in a quite superficial way. i like the set design in the prison, it is somewhat slightly abstract and "theater-like".
added on the 2003-11-23 17:14:50 by rac rac
~sagacity: yep I red it. It is obvious that it was changed but my Q is if we may really change into the beasts under some conditions or circumstances? Personally I think so, but we do, so what our brain is for?
added on the 2003-11-23 17:21:27 by sim sim
judging by what happened in the original experiment, the point is not that "som people like to feel superior and degrade others"; it's more that certain positions seem to make people act a certain way ("imprisoned" people will act as prisoners, "guards" will act as guards, etc.). this is not some people "pulling others down", it just seems that a the respective groups all tend to behave like what they think is expected of them. which is IMHO a lot worse.
added on the 2003-11-23 17:46:53 by ryg ryg
added on the 2003-11-23 19:04:41 by elkmoose elkmoose
Just "doing what you are told" is a very common (and effective) way of freeing yourself of things like guilt. Also, people are very susceptible to being told what to do. The prison experiment proves this, but there is plenty of other research on this subject you may want to read.
added on the 2003-11-23 19:45:30 by sagacity sagacity
ryg: stimmt auch irgendwie. lass ma lieber nicht machen :)
added on the 2003-11-23 20:12:07 by rac rac
You take a mortal man,
And put him in control
Watch him become a god,
Watch peoples heads a'roll

(Megadeth - Symphony of Destruction)
added on the 2003-11-23 22:29:50 by Gargaj Gargaj
ryg wrote:the respective groups all tend to behave like what they think is expected of them
I think you hit the bulls eye with this one..
Isn't it that the people take no personal responsibility in such positions?
"I was told so" is a very common excuse..
I lived my life too many days with "I was told so" or "the people above me do know".. I damaged the life of my best friends this way. This was surely a lesson.. hopefully I won't do this again..
added on the 2003-11-24 08:26:52 by phred phred
btw, saw the movie too.. I was shocked for minimum one week..
added on the 2003-11-24 08:28:13 by phred phred
calling it killing instinct these days is a tad exaggarated. from what i noticed, humans turned more and more towards elitism (or rather arrogance). i think life and moreover living with people became more and more a competition of a real strange kind. =)
added on the 2003-11-24 10:14:14 by dalezr dalezr
I saw the movie a bit over a year ago too and was familiar with the Stanford prison experiment before that. I tend to agree with Ryg that's more a matter of a role set in front of you instead of just suddenly popping and turning into a sadist.

Then again, lot's of war memoirs describe alot how all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds tend to show only their worst sides there, submitting to torture, executions and so on. So I also think that the prison experiment tapped into this area aswell, but the major influence was probably the role set for you as well as the two different groups that of course supported each other. I think there were some issues too about the fact that the people who studied the test in the prison also forgot that the people they were studying were students and became alarmed when the "prisoners" did something unexpected. Not sure about that, but I've seen it referenced couple of times in discussions.

So people, remember to go outside once in a while :-)
added on the 2003-11-24 11:17:42 by Reko Reko
"To find out a man's real character, give him power"
a quote, probably by an American president

The torturing of the people in Iraq is yet another prove for the fact, that what the movie and the experiment shows, is true. Even though "Das Experiment" is somewhat exaggerated, it is its realism that makes it such a great movie. And if you read through the original experiment's website, you will see that most of the things in the movie (stripping people naked, throwing food in the toilet...) actually happened in both the real experiment and Iraq.
added on the 2004-06-14 21:00:04 by mjz mjz
macht der suggestion!
added on the 2004-06-14 21:17:19 by ttl ttl
Anna Arendt used to call it "The Banality of Evil"
added on the 2004-06-14 21:54:00 by soolta soolta

uh, they masked the smile on her face...
holy privacy...
added on the 2004-06-14 22:51:24 by soolta soolta
i don't think that we are driven by our killing instinct(and i personally am afraid of killing), but our position in the society.
if you watch the movie, the prison is some kind of independent sub-society; the worst of the guards acts like that because some of the prisoners accuse him of homosexuality if i recall correctly..
he tries to get a better state in this sub-society by decreasing the state of the prisoners generally and some prisoners especially.

and btw when i first saw the title of the thread i thought you were suggesting some new farbrausch prod title or so ;)
added on the 2004-06-14 23:00:03 by lodda lodda