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Punishment, Fear of Parents, & Stanford Prison Experiment
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Old 08-12-2018, 03:35 PM
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jackfaire jackfaire is offline
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Default Punishment, Fear of Parents, & Stanford Prison Experiment

So I disagree with the conclusions reached by the Stanford Prison Experiment that "everyone will abuse power and become corrupt"

For one the experimenter often glosses over the fact that one of the "Guards" didn't like the treatment of the prisoners didn't participate in it and in fact requested he be switched to a prisoner because he felt bad at how they were being treated and didn't want to be a guard anymore.

I recently got into an argument with a friend that a child should fear their parents and the consequences (to themselves) of violating the rules.

My stance was that rather than teach the child "Break this rule and I will punish you"

teach the child how their breaking that rule can and does hurt others. "If you shoplift the prices go up for everyone and then your friend Billy won't be able to afford candy" Appeal to a child's developing sense of compassion and empathy.

I use myself as an example. When my parents punished me for shoplifting I just got better at not getting caught. If I wasn't caught I couldn't be punished and thus I was doing nothing wrong.

However when I found out that a local store was closing I innocently asked why. It turned out that shoplifting at that store was so rampant that they just couldn't afford to stay in business so cut their losses. This was the first time I had been exposed to the idea that my actions were actively hurting others.

I had friends that would never touch drugs and alcohol...until they moved out then they would go way overboard no longer having that fear of parents to keep them from indulging to excess.

I think that Guard should be the true findings of the experiment. It's not that power corrupts. It's that we don't raise our children to understand how their actions affect others. We just raise them to know "I'll hurt you if I catch you"

My daughter has never had fear used to teach her rules and proper behavior. Instead she was taught why to follow the rules. She internalized this so well that at times over the years she's pointed out when I was doing the wrong thing.

See I didn't have a reason to not do the wrong thing. I had fear. Remove the fear and it's easy to do the wrong thing because why shouldn't I.

Knowing something will negatively affect other people though? Stops me every time.
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Old Yesterday, 07:07 AM
Canarr Canarr is offline
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I agree with you on the point that it is better to teach how actions have consequences than rely on the fear of punishment - as soon as the culprit believes he isn't going to get caught, there is no fear anymore.

However, my interpretation of the Standford experiment isn't that "every single human with power will abuse it", but rather, "whereever people have power over other people, there will be abuse".
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Old Today, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canarr View Post
However, my interpretation of the Standford experiment isn't that "every single human with power will abuse it", but rather, "whereever people have power over other people, there will be abuse".
Fair but again I point to that guard as my reasoning that it's not actually true if the person with power understands compassion and empathy.

The experimenter himself stated that he feels "it's not that a bad apple spoils the bunch it's that deep down we're all bad apples" paraphrasing. Basically he was saying that any one of us in that position with little to no oversight would absolutely abuse our power.
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