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Stanford Prison Experiment Essay

1053 words - 5 pages

Learning’s of the Stanford Prison Experiment to Promote Positive Altruistic Behavior

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Altruism is a core belief where individuals are concerned about another person’s welfare and well-being. In society, altruism is viewed as an innate characteristic even though it is not commonly displayed. Additionally, the concept of altruism may vary greatly when you consider different beliefs and cultures. Ultimately, altruism is a selfless act where an individual will make sacrifices without an expectation for compensation. Regarding the Stanford Prison Experiment, many participants displayed negative and harmful behaviors rather than positive altruistic individual ...view middle of the document...

In order to create an altruistic environment, individuals must possess empathy (Bereczkei, Birkas, & Kerekes, 2010). Ideally, children should learn empathy from their parents, which will allow them to display empathy. However, in an institutional environment empathy can be taught to individuals in a variety of ways.
Individuals can learn empathy by understanding how to meet the emotional needs of others. This can involve understanding and identifying physical and emotional support requirements. When an individual understands emotional needs, they will be able to not only recognize negative emotions but also offer support and comfort (Batson & Powell, 2003). In an institutional setting, it is critical that individuals understand that they have their own mind and judgment. Additionally, it is important that individuals understand how emotions can impact behavior. This is useful for demonstrating the impact emotions have on one’s mental state and actions. Perhaps one of the most vital components for creating an altruistic institutional setting will be the modeling of altruistic actions. Principally, individuals will learn how to display altruistic behaviors through watching others. For example, an authority figure’s empathic response will allow individuals to identify situations that require altruism. Situations that require altruism should be identified to allow individuals to reproduce the behavior. Altruism can be achieved when individuals are able to recognize similarities within other people (Batson & Powell, 2003). Therefore, individuals should learn to connect with others and identify similarities. Not only does this humanize people but it allows an individual to enhance their altruistic response. Developing altruistic behaviors entails being able to understand another person’s perspective. For instance, prison guards in The Stanford Prison Experiment may have displayed positive behaviors if they were able to experience the prisoner’s perspective. Understanding another person’s perspective is useful for offering insight into how they feel and their emotions. Ultimately, being aware of different perspectives will create a more understanding and altruistic environment.
A core component of altruism is morality and ethics. Individuals should possess morality that is based on self-discipline instead of compensation. Individuals can develop morality by understanding ethical consequences for their actions along with a rational justification as to why positive behaviors are ideal (Fehr & Fischbacher, 2003). The stated suggestions for teaching the concepts of altruism will encourage individuals to display empathy and...

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