The Stanford prison experiment purported to show we are all naturally inclined to abuse positions of power – after volunteers randomly assigned to act as prison guards began abusing volunteer inmates in a mock prison.
But now a report from author and scientist Dr Ben Blum claims the research was all a sham. It points to recordings found in archives at Stanford University which show the study’s author Professor Philip Zimbardo encouraged guards to treat inmates poorly.
Also, one volunteer prisoner has now admitted to faking a fit of madness that the study reported was driven by the prison’s brutal conditions.
The revelations have sent scientists into uproar, with some calling for the experiment and its findings to be wiped from psychology textbooks worldwide.