Something also not often discussed about this study is that it was conducted during the prisoners rights movement where prison violence was normative/expected because of the media coverage. Ps enacted this. But only some.
We shouldn’t be leading students to lump Milgram’s experiment in with Zimbardo’s, should we? There were certainly ethical problems with Milgram’s study, too, but his basic finding has been replicated multiple times.
On the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) bombshell:
I also attended Haslam's excellent talk and heard the tapes; indeed, they’re shocking. It's clear the SPE was an elaborate production; "subjects" were coached on how to act and informed about the intended results.
A major difference of course is that the prisoners could leave at any time in the replication. With that, the guards have no power whatsoever. I wonder if there would be a way with modern IRBs to have a replication where the prisoners really couldn't leave.
There's a book to be written about the group of psychologists - like Zimbardo, Stanley Milgram (who did the electric shock compliance experiment), and Solomon Asch - who created an incredibly influential literature around conformity and evil.
All of them were immigrants or children of immigrants writing in the aftermath of the horrors of WW2. All had political views around the subject that led them to push their conclusions far further than the evidence allowed.