Shifting slightly from our recent focus on mind-altering substances to mind-altering situations, Philip Zimbardo was recently interviewed on All in the Mind. He discusses, among other things, his famous Stanford Prison Experiment.
In 1971 it was the hippie revolution, sex, drugs and rock and roll but also anti war and anti prisons. And so students and myself we were interested in the plight of prisoners because none of us could ever imagine being prison guards. But over time what was fascinating was how dramatically transformed the guards were and these were boys we chose as normal, as healthy — and they’re intelligent college students — as imaginable.