The Xavier Prison Experiment

Yr 11 Society and Culture students are taking place in a participant observation method where they examine the concepts of power and authority. Students have taken on roles of prison guards or prison inmates and are looking at how easily power can corrupt good people. Interestingly some of our good, friendly students were quite happy as guards to march their prisoners around in the heat, put them into solitary confinement or make them hold bridges on the scorching hot basketball courts.

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We have analysed the 1971 Zimbardo Experiment from Stanford prison and made comparisons with our own findings. Unlike his experiment we did not have to cancel ours and no psychological damage was done to our participants. If you are interested in the original experiment our class recommends you check out the following websites:

For more information on the 1971 Zimbardo Experiment visit: