The trailer has arrived for a film, being released nationally next month, about the Stanford Prison Experiment (which is the name of the film as well), a controversial experiment at Stanford University in 1971 in which students were assigned to play the roles of prisoners and prison guards. The study had to be halted as the students playing the role of guards became sadistic. While many criticized the experiment, it remains much studied in psychology courses, and is cited when events such as the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib raise issues about how people change in certain situations.
Here is the trailer:
For those who want to review the scholarship about the experiment, here is a website about the experiment by Philip Zimbardo, professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford and leader of the study.
And for fans of film about controversial social science experiments about how good people can be led to do bad things, watch for Experimenter as well, about the Stanley Milgram experiments in which research subjects were led to believe they were administering shocks on others. The film is currently on the festival circuit and will be released generally later this year.
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