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dc.contributor.authorHaslam, Alexander S.
dc.contributor.authorReicher, Stephen D.
dc.contributor.authorVan Bavel, Jay J.
dc.identifier.citationHaslam , A S , Reicher , S D & Van Bavel , J J 2019 , ' Rethinking the nature of cruelty : the role of identity leadership in the Stanford Prison Experiment ' , American Psychologist , vol. 74 , no. 7 , pp. 809-822 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 261371651
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: e6e21e7c-c426-4fb2-ac21-8d1a7eab959e
dc.identifier.othercrossref: 10.1037/amp0000443
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85068459573
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000488834600005
dc.description.abstractThe Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) is one of the most famous studies in the history of psychology. For nearly a half century it has been understood to show that assigning people to a toxic role will, on its own, unlock the human capacity to treat others with cruelty. In contrast, principles of identity leadership argue that roles are unlikely to elicit cruelty unless leaders encourage potential perpetrators to identify with what is presented as a noble ingroup cause and to believe their actions are necessary for the advancement of that cause. Although identity leadership has been implicated in behavior ranging from electoral success to obedience to authority, researchers have hitherto had limited capacity to establish whether role conformity or identity leadership provides a better account of the cruelty observed in the SPE. Through examination of material in the SPE archive, we present comprehensive evidence that, rather than guards conforming to role of their own accord, experimenters directly encouraged them to adopt roles and act tough in a manner consistent with tenets of identity leadership. Implications for the analysis of conformity and cruelty as well as for interpretation of the SPE are discussed.
dc.relation.ispartofAmerican Psychologisten
dc.rightsCopyright © 2019 APA, all rights reserved. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at
dc.subjectSocial identitficationen
dc.subjectIdentity entrepreneurshipen
dc.subjectStandford Prison Experimenten
dc.subjectBF Psychologyen
dc.titleRethinking the nature of cruelty : the role of identity leadership in the Stanford Prison Experimenten
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Psychology and Neuroscienceen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Centre for Research into Equality, Diversity & Inclusionen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.St Andrews Sustainability Instituteen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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