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Transcript of Psychological Experiments
Kitty Genovese was a 28 year old women was assaulted by a crazy man named Winston Moseley for no reason while she was walking back from work
Jane Elliott's Blue Eyed/Brown Eyed Experiment
Stanford Prison Experiment
Prison Experiment and Handmaid's Tale
In Zimbardo's experiment, the prisoners are stripped of their names and are given a number. Everyone in the prison must address the prisoners by their respective numbers, thus removing their sense of identity. Similarly, the handmaids in Atwood's novel are not addressed by their names, but rather by the name of their commander + "of" prefix; ie "Offred," "Ofglen," "Ofwarren."
By stripping them of their identities, the individuals become more vulnerable
Feel as if it is not them doing wrong, but rather the person that they are told to become
During the fourth day of the SP experiment, Prisoner 819 began to rebel against the harassment of the guards by barricading himself in his cell and refusing to take part in any of the activities assigned to the prisoners by the guards. This rebellion, caused by the psychological damage done to 819 through the abusive guards, is also present in Atwood's novel when Moira runs away from the gymnasium because she does not want to become a handmaid. Moira's rebellion is fueled by her desire to be a regular woman and not an object that is used to produce babies. Rebellion is also shown when Offred sneaks out at night and goes into the Commander's office to read banned material and use illegal lotion.
Powerlessness leading to rebellion
In the novel, wives and aunts are given privelegs such as freedom to read, and are told (by 12 commanders) to be respected by the handmaids, unwomens, guardians, and marthas who are stripped of freedom. Similarly, in the exercise, blue eyed children that are given more privileges, are said to be superior to brown eyed children who are restricted of their privileges.
So what? :
-Mistreatment of the minority
-Injustice is demonstrated
-It is against freedom of rights
Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1986. Print.
What is it?
Mock prison experiment conducted by Dr. Philip Zimbardo to see how individuals would react when given or stripped of power
24 healthy, normal and mentally stable volunteer students from Stanford University
Half as prisoners and half as guards; selected randomly
What was the outcome?
Guards quickly became abusive
Prisoners began to show signs of anxiety and depression
Was supposed to be a two week experiment but was stopped after only six days because of the effects it was having on the prisoners and guards
Demonstrates the powerful role that the situation can play in human behavior
-Class is told in the exercise that blue eyed people are better than brown eyed people
-Blue eyed children are given more time for recess, brown eyed children are given no recess
-Brown eyed children are not allowed to interact with blue eyed children because the teacher says that they are not as good as blue eyed people
Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1986. Print.
In 1960, a psychologist named Stanley Milgram conducted an experiment to observe obedience.
A teacher (participant) and a student ( an actor ), take part in the experiment.
The teacher would ask the student a question, if the student replies with a wrong answer,
the student would be shocked.
Overtime the intensity of the shock will increase with every incorrect answer.
The teacher has the option to quit the experiment anytime, but majority of the participants
do not quit.
"Brown Eyes and Blue Eyes Racism Experiment (Children Session) - Jane Elliott." YouTube. YouTube, 19 Nov. 2012. Web. 16 Dec. 2013.
The Stanford Prison Experiment & The Handmaid's Tale
The Prisoners signed the contract which guaranteed them basic living needs, however, they were notified that their right to privacy and freedom will be suspended.
Similarly, the people of Gilliad are promised Maslow's basic necessities, however they must sacrifice their freedom and privacy in order to have these relative luxuries.
ex. Handmaids, Marthas, Wives (to a certain extent)
Some find not having their freedom so extreme, they would prefer to sacrifice their current 'luxuries' to have that freedom
The guard's uniforms made them look intimidating and emotionless (sunglasses) so that they can’t make eye contact with the prisoners and there can’t be a sympathetic connection. Their clothes gave them a symbol of power (baton and whistle).
Similarly, the people of Gilliad are divided up in ranks that are determined by the type of clothes they wear. The handmaids have wings on their heads so that no one can make eye contact with them. That way there won’t be an emotional connection between the two.
Her screams were loud and reverberated throughout the entire area
In 1964, 38 New Yorkers watched through their window neighbour Kitty brutally murdered
After stabbing Kitty for 12 times the killer ran away leaving Kitty to bleed to death
The incident shocked the city. The people were shocked by the fact that a women was murdered in the city and nobody responded to her calls.
Therefore, to test the psychological mind to people the two psychologists named John Darley and Bibb Latane came up with a theory called
THE BYSTANDER EFFECT
To test their theories of about how groups and individuals responded during a crisis situation they performed an experiment
Prisoners were forced to do dehumanizing acts that the guards ordered them to do, making them have no control over their bodies, affecting them psychologically
The people of Gilliad are told what to do and they must do it. The handmaids have no control over their bodies because they are have the sole duty to be a “vessel”
Hashir, Anurag, Ashutosh, Hamza, Umar
Scenario: The school is raided by college students and is forced into lockdown. All staff (adults) are tied up and locked in a secret room.
All exits are locked. No one gets in or out.
The students are free to do as they please.
Think about this scenario's relationship to the novel
Questions to consider during the presentation:
1. How will the students divide and behave with one another?
2. Who will take position of leadership?
What Does it All Mean?
When human beings are put into an abnormal situation, they change their behaviour in order to adapt to that circumstance.
Reasons for adaptation include:
Self-preservation (Kitty Genovese)
Moral immunity (Milgram, Stanford Prison)
Authority - The ability to do things because they can. (Jane Elliott)
"The line between good and evil is permeable and almost anyone can be induced to cross it when pressured by situational forces."
- Phillip Zimbardo
The Bystander Effect
is when the presence of others contravenes an inidividual to respond to an emergency situation.
A person sitting alone by himself filling a questionnaire, sees smoke coming through the door. So therefore he immediately informs the people around about the situation.
Bystander Effect Experiment & Handmaid's Tale
When three strangers sitting in a room filling the questionnaire go through the same situation they instead of responding to the ambiguous situation glance at each other and ignore the smoke coming through the door.
Therefore this that people react differently when they are by themselves and when they are in a group.
Therefore the presence of other people create a diffusion of responsibility.
• Since there are other observers around, individuals feel less pressure to take the action during a crisis.
• People feel self-conscious that their help will not be effective as a result they avoid the situation.
• People fear that if they help others during a crisis they will also get into trouble so therefore they evade the situation.
Ofglen, under cover of her sleeves, grips my elbow. "Keep moving," she whispers. "Pretend not to see." ... They grab a man who is walking along, a man with briefcase, an ordinary-looking man, slam him back against the black side of the van... They pick him up and heave him into the back of van like a sack of mail... It's all over, in seconds, and the traffic on the streets resumes as if nothing has happened. What I feel is relief. It wasn't me" (Atwood 212-213)
Ways you can avoid this:
-Question the facts presented
-Treat others equally
-Recognize the perspective of minority
-Ask yourself whether the current system is fair