To our surprise, this had the opposite effect! Usage of camera and conversation actually went down. So what was going on? When we dug in, we found that many people simply ignored colorful things below the main box, often assuming they were unimportant, especially as we had historically used that space to show feature promotion cards.
…rous academic critiques have so far lessened the grip of Zimbardo’s tale on the public imagination. The appeal of the Stanford prison experiment seems to go deeper than its scientific validity, perhaps because it tells us a story about ourselves that we desperately want to believe: that we, as individuals, cannot really be held accountable for the sometimes reprehensible things we do. As troubling as it might seem to accept Zimbardo’s fallen vision of human nature, it is also profoundly liberating. It means we’re off the hook. Our actions are determined by circumstance. Our fallibility is situational. Just as the Gospel promised to absolve us of our sins if we would only believe, the SPE offered a form of redemption tailor-made for a scientific era, and we embraced it.