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View Full Version : Stanford Prison Experiment Was A Fraud



Angela
17-10-19, 19:04
You probably know the one: it purported to show that normal, everyday people turn into sadists if given the power to inflict pain, i.e. prison guards.

There's been lots of attempts to duplicate the results, without success. Now, an investigative journalist did the homework, and the people in the experiment were coached as to what to do by the "researchers" in order to get the result which suited their agenda.

See:
https://twitter.com/juliagalef/status/1184270907964944384

If any of them are still working they should be fired.

Moral of the story: sadists are mainly born, not made, and certainly aren't made sadists by getting a little power. Of course, sadists may be drawn to, or do well in situations where they are able to assert power over others. That's another proposition altogether.

Jovialis
17-10-19, 19:12
Some people are better suited to be sleazy used-car salesmen, rather than academics.

Wheal
17-10-19, 20:18
ohhh Jovialis, not ALL used car salespeople are sleazy, as in all occupations, there are the good and the bad.:laughing:

Jovialis
17-10-19, 20:45
ohhh Jovialis, not ALL used car salespeople are sleazy, as in all occupations, there are the good and the bad.:laughing:

That's true, this scandal is a prime example of that.

Ailchu
17-10-19, 22:01
Moral of the story: sadists are mainly born, not made, and certainly aren't made sadists by getting a little power. Of course, sadists may be drawn to, or do well in situations where they are able to assert power over others. That's another proposition altogether.

i won't say that there isn't a connection with genetics, there certainly is, but that is not the moral of this story. if that was the case you could also say the moral is that beeing a liar and producer of fake studies is mainly tied to genetics.

Angela
17-10-19, 22:28
i won't say that there isn't a connection with genetics, there certainly is, but that is not the moral of this story. if that was the case you could also say the moral is that beeing a liar and producer of fake studies is mainly tied to genetics.

Ever heard of the replication crisis in the social "sciences", i.e. psychology, sociology?

This is one of the many papers in psychology which demonstrate that. It had and has nothing to do with genetics researchers. If it had, the results would undoubtedly have been different.

Genetics is pristine by comparison to the social sciences. The percentage of papers which have failed to replicate is so high that my default position now is that until the results are duplicated by another lab the results are probably questionable.

Point is: giving someone power over other human beings doesn't turn the person into a sadist. END OF STORY.

Ailchu
17-10-19, 23:29
Point is: giving someone power over other human beings doesn't turn the person into a sadist. END OF STORY.

exactly. this is the only point or moral of this story. you can't say that this is because of genetics.

Angela
18-10-19, 18:12
exactly. this is the only point or moral of this story. you can't say that this is because of genetics.

So, what is it, since it's obvious now that it isn't merely the acquisition of power?

Since we now know that most personality traits are at least 60% heritable, and psychiatric disorders and illnesses, of which I consider sadism to be one, have even higher percentages, genetics is indeed very likely to be the difference in how people behave in situations where they have power over others.

Please don't bother telling me it's the home environment. We have dozens of papers now which show that doesn't have very much to do with it. Great, or the corollary, terrible, parenting seems to have less to do with outcome than we thought. It can make growing up pleasant or terrible, of course, but that's also a different issue.

Ailchu
18-10-19, 18:42
So, what is it, since it's obvious now that it isn't merely the acquisition of power?

Since we now know that most personality traits are at least 60% heritable, and psychiatric disorders and illnesses, of which I consider sadism to be one, have even higher percentages, genetics is indeed very likely to be the difference in how people behave in situations where they have power over others.

Please don't bother telling me it's the home environment. We have dozens of papers now which show that doesn't have very much to do with it. Great, or the corollary, terrible, parenting seems to have less to do with outcome than we thought. It can make growing up pleasant or terrible, of course, but that's also a different issue.

can you give a source for the "most traits are at least 60% heritable"? the big five are around 50%.

Angela
18-10-19, 18:45
can you give a source for the "at least 60%"? i thought it was around 50% and only for certain important traits and not most of them.

Have it your way...at least 50%, since I don't have time to do a search. (I remember those 50%+ numbers, but more recent papers show even more heritability, even for things as innocuous as extroversion/introversion, especially for psychiatric disorders.)

Point stands.

bigsnake49
22-10-19, 19:03
Unfortunately there is a lot of pressure to publish or perish and the major questions have already been answered so researchers have been investigating the nooks and crannies. Most of the time the reason for non-duplications is poor experiment design or interpretation of but there are some studies where outright fraud was committed. If the latter, the researchers should be fired and ostracized and should be forced to give the money back.