Sunday, February 26, 2012

Question 2

Q: If you were a guard, what type of guard would you have become? How sure are you?

Since I already watched the film, I would like to NOT become the guards in the film just because I was able to view the situation from a 3rd point of view and knowing the kind of environment changes people. I want to become the guard that treats every prisoner equally and maintains a safe environment. Again thou, I can not be sure that I will not be cruel and unsentimental when the kind of situation is forcing on me. I am just a human being, who judges others and have likes and dislikes. I am not sure that I am able to not favor some prisoners from others, and judges some to be worse than others. I am aware of the fact that my mental decides what type of people I like and what types of people I can not accept before I even get to know them, and most of the time I don't change my feelings. One thing could prevent me from being cruel and unfair is to keep my judgements and personal feelings out of the way. I will have to constantly remind myself to not enjoy my authority and to not judge the prisoners. After all, guard's duty is to keep the place safe but to punish the prisoners.


Sam Ryser said...

I would like to say I would become a nice guard. I would probably be one considering how little these people were getting paid. On the other hand the fact that they were volunteering, (or hypothetically I would be) might make it a little easier to get into the job. I think a better question would be " would you be a nice BOSS or not" as is what if you ran your own buisness. I could easily see myself being a horrible boss, if I cared about what I was doing...Either way I think nobody in the world can really tell what kind of guard they would be because the nature of the experiment is that the situation can allow people to become something they never expected

Megan Pearce said...

Like any of the participants in the experiment, I think it is difficult to tell what kind of prison guard I would have become. In a system with no rules, and just one goal and responsibility, there are no guidelines for how one should achieve the goal and what measures should be taken in order to maintain responsibility. In this case, the goal of the prisoner guards was to withhold the liberty of the prisoners, and to make them obedient. They were responsible for maintaining order at all costs. Although they were not allowed to harm the prisoners physically, they could demoralize them to any extent that seemed necessary or appropriate. Although they seemed cruel, and I do not think that I would have acted similarly, all of the actions of the guards were within the rules of the experiment.

Although I believe their actions were valid, I think that I would not be as cruel to the prisoners. Although maintaining order would be important, because I was not in physical or immediate danger, I would have found it difficult to get so into character knowing that it was an experiment, and that the prisoners were technically my equals. Watching the prison experiment almost felt like watching an extreme version of a bunch of kids playing a too-serious version of cops and robbers before someone's mom came outside because someone started crying. If the situation were different, and it was a real-life situation in which the prisoners' lack of cooperation would actually jeapordize my safety, I suppose my actions would be similar to the gaurds, and I would take any and all measures to maintain order. However, knowing the experiment environment, I think I would have a hard time taking it that seriously, and I think I would have been a much more lenient gaurd.