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Outline research on conformity

A famous piece of research is the Stanford prison experiment by Zimbardo. He investigated how readily people wold conform to roles of prisoners and guards. He recruited US college students and randomly assigned the roles of prisoners and guards in a stimulated prison environment. Guards were given uniform to wear and prisoners were addressed by numbers to make their roles seem as real as possible. The guards and prisoners behaviour was observed. It was found that in a very short space of time the guards started to act brutally and aggressively towards the prisoners and conformed to their roles very quickly. The experiment was stopped early due to the prisoners being treated so badly and the risk of paticipants becoming physically or mentally damaged. This study is pure evidence that people will conform to theirr social roles they are expected to play espeically if the roles are strongly stereotyped like prison guards. 

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