Science on Screen®
The Stanford Prison Experiment
What happens when a college psych study goes shockingly wrong? In this tense, psychological thriller based on the notorious true story, Billy Crudup stars as Stanford University professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo, who, in 1971, cast 24 student volunteers as prisoners and guards in a simulated jail to examine the source of abusive behavior in the prison system. The results astonished the world, as participants went from middle-class undergrads to drunk-with-power sadists and submissive victims in just a few days. Winner of two awards at the Sundance Film Festival, including Best Screenplay, and created with the close participation of Dr. Zimbardo himself, ‘The Stanford Prison Experiment’ is a chilling, edge-of-your-seat thriller about the dark side of power and the effects of imprisonment. Featuring an extraordinary cast of rising young actors, including Ezra Miller, Olivia Thirlby, Tye Sheridan, Keir Gilchrist, Michael Angarano, and Thomas Mann.
About the Speaker:
As the voice and face of contemporary American psychology, Dr. Philip Zimbardo has made a career of “giving psychology away” for nearly 60 years. For this special installment of Science on Screen, the creator of the Stanford Prison Experiment himself joins Enzian for a Skype discussion on how this landmark experiment shaped the course of his psychology career, including his current research on heroism. After the film, Dr. Zimbardo will return onscreen for a brief question and answer session, exploring the question central to his studies today: “What pushes some people to become perpetrators of evil, while others act heroically on behalf of those in need?”
USA, 2015, 122 minutes, Rated R, Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez