The Introverted Man (2)

He’s definitely one of his kind, he wears clothes like a 12 grade teen, with sweatshirt always on and dark colored pants, he hides his shy demeanor by tucking his hands in his side pockets and walks with ease.

His aviators are alwys there by his side, he wears them to hide away his rhuemy eyes, for he wishes to hide away. His light brown eyes would show you a variety of things, only if you closely pay attention to the words his eyes speak.

They’d at times twinkle too bright, like the stars he encounters by the sea, they lit up like his favourite star when he narrates his childhood play with his dad and sister practicing WWE with each other during his school days.

His eyes hide away the turmoil within him too, hide away the many sleepless nights he spent at the sea, or the times he lay awoke on the cold bed, homesick, wishing to be just a bit closer to his shore.

If you closely pay attention to his eyes, you can see patches of melancholy aligned too, of the days he cried when no one was around, the days he felt he wasnt the perfect child, or the days he prayed he could just leave. They are latched below his eyes, he names it *tiredness* for he couldn’t fall asleep since he was working and partying at nights.

Yet he’d never show an ounce of emotions from his end, for his bright smile would cover up these.

His smile, is as pleasant as the winds during June rains, the one that makes everyone around them so lively and chirpy. It’d remind you of the 11:11 wish you read online, he’s the kind of guy who’d make sure you’re always happy and all right.

He’d stare at you across the room full of people, he notice how the veins on your forehead look too bright in the afternoon sun, how you awkwardly tuck your hair when you feel anxious or shy. He’d also notice the way you truly smile, the way your eyes roll or the way you gently sigh, he’d look deep into your eyes when you’re looking away or when you’re trying to hide.

He’d need no words to understand how you feel, for his intuitive gut would work just fine. He’d know how to make you laugh or when to change the subject of your talk, when to get coffee or when to offer you a cigarette puff.

He’d also be there to hold your hand when you feel the stairway is too uncertain towards the end, he’d ask you if you’re all right and hold your hand too tight and smile. His rough hands would softly catch yours all the time, his fingers would draw circles around your wrists, to tell you he would never leave.He’d never back down from walking hand in hand by the street, his grip would be like the knots he learnt in sailing school, never lose, always firm and tight.

Lastly, he’d hug you too tight, the one that would make you forget about everything else around you, the one that would shatter all your previously held ambiguities, it’d feel as cozy as the your favorite blanket during wintery nights and would make you feel safe and make you smile.

What your past does to you.

●Your past doesn’t haunt you, how you’d expect it to.

It just slowly makes that once lively heart a bit more silent, makes it beat a bit more slower, it cries while you smile on the outside, it cries at night, the sound is heard only by the one who prays today would be the day, they hope they fall asleep.

●Your past doesn’t haunt you at all.

It just takes away your ability to feel things anymore, you dont enjoy the coffee you once lived for, it rather tastes like any other liquid that passes down your parched throat. Your salty tears seem to be the only one that keep you alive, anymore.

●You feel pangs of pain in the chest, they feel like those violent rain drops that thundered that night, the one that suffocates you, when you breathe, you feel like you’re drowning in your own tears, like the way you once drowned into their eyes, but this feeling is as heavy as the weight of your lips when you tried to fake a smile when they told you they have found someone else, as heavy as the footsteps that walked away that time.

● Your past doesnt haunt you, it kills you little by little everyday.

It makes you question the thoughts and feelings of eveyone that comes in your way. You try to be a bit more sham everyday, you see how easy it is to lie to eveyone else, to fake that gorgeous smile or show them your lively Instagram life.

Yet what you dont show them, are those cigarettes buds that keep getting accumulated everyday, that spirit that you once disliked is your friend, the cold bed side and the wailing rusty fan seems to understand your plight.

●It makes you hold yourself at night, to hush off the nightmares of the past. It makes you trust less and worry more, You’re present in the moment with others but yet you never feel home,

You smile, you talk,

You show you’re fine.

●Yet this past is latched on to you like a venom of the spider upon its prey, the more you wish to get out of it, the more it sticks to your core, first your eyes then your throat and lastly the heart, this venomous poison isnt visible to the naked eye, for others would feel you’re perfectly.

Thus your past doesn’t haunt you,not at all, worse, it just makes you numb for your entire life.

  Zimbardo’s Prison experiment / Stanford Prison Experiment : 

Hi everyone! This is the first time I have tried posting something related to my field, I am sure there would be a lot of mistakes, spelling errors, the content wouldn’t be upto mark, etc. Your feedback would mean a lot.♥️♥️


The Stanford Prison Experiment or the Zimbardo Prison Experiment as it has named famously has been the highlight in almost all of my Introduction Psychology Textbooks right from my 11th grade, the reason why I selected this experiment as my essay topic is because, this experiment even though it ended abruptly was one of the highly controversial as well as an intriguing study that help shed light on a many important aspects of social psychology ( conformity and obedience) as well as opened doors for new ethical guidelines which this study gazed with thick black tinted glasses as the ones they gave out to their guards. This is my take on this topic.

On 14th August 1971, a healthy and wise student of Stanford college was arrested by the police officer and was taken away to the mock Prison setting Zimbardo and his colleagues set up right in the basement of the college.According to Zimbardo the real reason he started this experiment was because he wanted to investigate whether people would conform to the social roles of a prison guard or prisoner, when placed in a mock prison environment.

He also wanted to examine whether the behavioral changes the participants underwent was due to their internal dispositional factors, the people themselves, or external situational factors, the environment and conditions of the prison.(Bleske-Rechek, A. L. (2001)

According to Zimbardo the real reason he started this experiment was because he wanted to investigate whether people would conform to the social roles of a prison guard or prisoner, when placed in a mock prison environment.

He also wanted to examine whether the behavioral changes the participants underwent was due to their internal dispositional factors, the people themselves, or external situational factors, the environment and conditions of the prison.(Bleske-Rechek, A. L. (2001)

Twenty- one college students agreed to be a part of this experiment on the basis that they would be paid 15 dollar a day to take part and after undergoing various physiological and mental tests Zimbardo and colleagues had randomly assigned half the participants to be guards and the other to be prisoners by the flip of a coin. (Zimbardo, 1971)

The first day all the guards were dressed in identical uniforms of khaki, they carried a big billy club borrowed from the police, a whistle around their neck, and they all wore special sun-glasses.(Zimbardo, 1971)

During the time the study was conducted, an investigation of this experiment was conducted by the APA in 1973 and they concluded that the Stanford Prison Experiment did satisfy all the existing professional ethical standards, thus if we were to see this experiment from the experimenters point of view, they had not violated any ethical guidelines back then.

But after many decades of viewing and reading this historically notorious study, one can point out more than a few codes of ethics that were disregarded in this study.

In the Stanford Prison Experiment, the prisoners ( who were actually students ) were subjected to emotional trauma that ranged from moderate to high levels of emotional trauma, this can be pointed out right from the beginning of the experiment. When the prisoners were taken away or “Arrested” right from their house, ( about which no mention was made, for it was an impromptu arrest), they were also checked by a real police officer and were handcuffed and then individually taken to the prison, later on they were fingerprinted, photographed ( Mugshot) and “booked” like an actual offender.

When the prisoners were taken away or “Arrested” right from their house, ( about which no mention was made, for it was an impromptu arrest), they were also checked by a real police officer and were handcuffed and then individually taken to the prison, later on they were fingerprinted, photographed ( Mugshot) and “booked” like an actual offender.

After which they were blindfolded and were left off to a room in the made up prison, wherein they were stripped naked, were also assigned numbers in place of their actual names and their actual clothes was replaced by a smock with their number written and were presented with no underclothes. They also had a tight nylon cap to cover their hair, and a locked chain around one ankle.Mcleod, S. (2020)

This was all only about their appearance but if we were to see the way these prisoners were treated in the initial days of this abruptly ended study was that they were also mistreated, called out names, sexually teased, stripped naked, given vague punishments ( doing multiple push ups, cleaning the bathroom seat by their bare hands, etc) Along with all the other emotional trauma which went far away for one of the prisoner, who after 36 hours of the experiment was crying uncontrollably and screaming. These above mentioned practises in today’s time would be disregarding the Standard Code 3.04 ( APA, 2016) That requires the researcher to avoid harm and to maximize harm where it is unavoidable.

The guards in this experiment, too were fully engulfed in their roles, they would act hostile towards the prisoners, on the second day when the prisoners broke out in a chaos, they disregarded all the jail norms, threw away the clothes and removed the numbers of their uniform and locked the door to their cells, the real or rather the assigned role play actual came in reality, the guards tried to break in the cell through fire extinguishers, would strip the prisoners naked, would lock them up in a confined room, wouldn’t allow disobedient prisoners to eat certain meals, or serve them bad good.

The Standard Code 2.01A and 2.01C (APA,2016) which requires researchers to only conduct studies that are within their boundaries of competencies based on education, training and supervised experience was also disregarded in its totality, for in an article written in the Stanford Magazine that reflected on the participants feelings, Zimbardo admitted that he himself did not have any firsthand knowledge about Prions before conducting this experiment.

The other code of conduct which was disregarded was code 8.02 (APA, 2016) which requires researchers to inform participants of their right to decline to participate and to withdraw from research once participation has begun.
Interestingly, Zimbardo agreed that he had allowed the prisoner #819 to leave the experiment after he bursted out and started crying uncontrollably, the other prisoner which later came out and shared his part of experience namely, Richardo Yacco, said that when he asked Zimbardo’s team if he could quit the experiment, he was told that he couldn’t for he himself agreed to be there for the full experiment. Greenfield, R. (2013, October 30)


Interestingly, Zimbardo agreed that he had allowed the prisoner #819 to leave the experiment after he bursted out and started crying uncontrollably, the other prisoner which later came out and shared his part of experience namely, Richardo Yacco, said that when he asked Zimbardo’s team if he could quit the experiment, he was told that he couldn’t for he himself agreed to be there for the full experiment. Greenfield, R. (2013, October 30)

The study also failed to debrief participants until several years later, at which point it was difficult to assess what level of psychological harm had occurred as a result of participation in the experiment. Though Zimnbardo in an interview noted that none of his participants unwent any kind of long lasting emotional or psychological harm or trauma, Lastly, Deception has been highlighted constantly if not criticized by a lot of researchers, for the participants were aware about the general idea of the prison life they would experience but the reality they experience was not outlined sufficiently.

The part where Zimbardo himself takes part in this experiment, that just adds to more of his own biases in this experiment given the stake that he was the Superintendent of the Prison, also given the fact that this experiment was not clearly defined in the terms of Iv and DV, in a film remake of his experiment wherein they used the real footages of the SPE, I could observe that, when a Stanford Researcher asked Zimbardo what the IV of the Experiment was, he wasn’t really aware of the IV of the experiment nor did he clearly define the actual Hypothesis or what role or how were the guards supposed to act ( even tho in the Youtube video I watched i heard him say, No Physical Violence was allowed in his study ) yet they were so ruthless with prisoners and they went little too far.

One more thought that arose in my mind is that the entire experiment was being recorded right from arresting the participants to punishing them, and they were also being supervised by CCTV’s the entire day, so what if this affected the way they acted?

One of the most famous frenemy of Zimbardo, Ben Bluem, criticized or rather pointed to this curiosity wherein years later, he interviewed guards and prisoners, and they came forward and shared that his much-cited breakdown was merely acting on his part. Another revealed that Zimbardo had encouraged the guards to act aggressively. Olson, E. (2018, July 5).

If it was to be replicated again today, I’d say, rather select an apt sample for the study (unlike only using participants belonging to a certain race), also to debrief the participants about the motive behind the study. According to me, The BBC Prison Experiment did shed light on a few important topics ie, there were in total 322 potential participants out of only 15 were selected, 5 were guards and 10 were prisoners, there was commotion that raised similar to the SPE but here, the prisoners actually came together and rebelled against the authoritative nature of the demanding guards and they learnt that by being together they could achieve a lot of common goals, including meals, better hygiene, this collective self realization lead the prisoners to feel less depressed and stressed, they rather worked collectively towards one common goal and it was seen that in the case of guards group, where there was chaos either due to lack of group identity or group power, there was more burnout and stress among them. This study helped shed light or did justice to a SPE replication with favourable conclusion.

Researchers, Reicher and Haslam replicated Zimbardo’s research by randomly assigning 15 men to the role of prisoner or guard. In this replication, the participants did not conform to their social roles automatically. For example, the guards did not identify with their status and refused to impose their authority; the prisoners identified as a group to challenge the guard’s authority, which resulted in a shift of power and a collapse of the prison system. These results clearly contradict the findings of Zimbardo and suggest that conformity to social roles may not be automatic, as Zimbardo originally implied.

Though this study stands out to be one of the most controversial and criticized and notorious one, It would be wrong on my part if I wouldn’t point out to the real life incidents this experiment directioned us towards, the famous Abu Ghraib prison which in this Ted talk by Zimbardo himself drew parallels about how the prisoners in Abu Ghraib Iraq Prison were abused, this was similar to the ones that Zimbardo’s guards inflicted but the degree varied drastically, they were stripped naked, beaten till they bled, they had swollen eyes, they were forced to make human pyramids naked, were threatened with police dogs who bit them, etc.He had highlighted by drawing parallels to his study stating that, the thin line between good and evil resides with power, and their social authority.

Even in military settings as Zimbardo pointed out, the soldiers merely follow orders of the ones who are in power and at a greater authority than them. In everyday life, if we were to see, we are constantly following orders or doing things our parents tell us to do, our elders tell us to do or the politician tells us to do, why? For they are at a higher power than us.The entire system revolves around the Power play, wherein the one with the most of it, controls and manipulates the others who are parched of it and do they have a say? Why is it that we act as Prisoners of SPE and fail to voice our thoughts and opinions when needed and rather give in power play?

Maybe what is needed is rather a change in the system, to overrule the situation at bay, as Zimbardo correctly sums up, “If you want to change a person, change the situation. And to change it, you’ve got to know where the power is, it is in the system” and I couldn’t agree less.

……………………………………

References :

American Psychological Association. (2016). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Retrieved from http://apa.org/ethics/code

Bleske-Rechek, A. L. (2001). Obedience, Conformity, and Social Roles: Active Learning in a Large Introductory Psychology Class. Teaching of Psychology, 28(4), 260–262. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15328023top2804_05

Mcleod, S. (2020). Stanford Prison Experiment | Simply Psychology. Https://Www.Simplypsychology.Org/Zimbardo.Html.

Olson, E. (2018, July 5). Was the Stanford Prison Experiment a sham? A Q&A with the writer who exposed the celebrated study. News | Palo Alto Online |. https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2018/07/01/was-the-stanford-prison-experiment-a-sham-a-qa-with-the-writer-who-exposed-the-celebrated-study

Patricia Im. (2017, January 10). Psychology: The Stanford Prison Experiment – BBC Documentary. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4txhN13y6A

Past Ethical Issues- Stanford Prison Experiment and Abu Ghraib. (2016, November 22). Learning Ethical Qualitative Research. https://qualitativeresearchethics.wordpress.com/past-ethical-issues-stanford-prison-experiment-and-abu-ghraib/

Greenfield, R. (2013, October 30). How Did the Stanford Prison Experiment Get Out of Hand? The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/07/stanford-prison-experiment/352754/

The Study – The BBC Prison Study. (2002). http://Www.Bbcprisonstudy.Org/Bbc-Prison-Study.Php?P=54. http://www.bbcprisonstudy.org/bbc-prison-study.php?p=54

Zimbardo, P. (2008). The psychology of evil. TED Talks. https://www.ted.com/talks/philip_zimbardo_the_psychology_of_evil/transcript?language=en#t-555449

https://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/iraqi

Random thought.

In this life,you might fall in love with the three kind,

one who gifts you bouquets of exotic flowers,

One who nurtures your flowers and plucks away your painful thorns

Or the one that gifts you their own thorn and scars.

Poem 56#

There’a broken tap in the kitchen sink,
It keeps shredding pellets of water at night,
Many tried to fix it,
To repair the seal.
Yet it remains broken.

But doesn’t leak during morning hours,
For mum ties it with a muslin cloth.

“See now? There’s always a way to fix broken things,” Maa proudly says,

“I wish temporary solutions would work that way,”
I continue with the dishes for the day
With the soggy old sponge, I start cleaning the dishes,
It has holes now, blobs of black dots surround its core,
Yet it scrubs away the dirt and cleans the vessels perfectly fine.

Maa’s favourite steel kadhai is blackened due to overuse,
It takes me more than a couple of mins to scrub a small patch of dot,

“Ugh this won’t go away, Maa!!”

“Oh it’s an old stain, it won’t leave this quick,”
maa reckons to me,

“Then what do I do?”

“Find a way to clean the black stain, Shibu.”

“But it’ll take a lot more time, too much work.”
I sigh,

“Then what do you wish to do?
Let the stain get darker and even more difficult to get off?”

Maybe she was right,
Maybe old stains never leave their shore easily after all.
Keep getting darker by day,
And harder to forget or erase.

-Shivani Dubey.

Random thought.

This takes time,

It’s not fast in pace,

Rather steady like the ocean waves,

Yes they get violent, are tranquil at times too

But they never lose their pace

They keep moving on,

never lay still at one place.

Maybe healing works in similar ways?

Poem 55#



I dont wanna write anymore,
Was this destined in my palm too?
My palm has so many broken lines,
Reminds me of the geometry figure I couldn’t draw even after multiple trials,
Alas in the end, the creased paper had multiple broken lines, they were invisible to the naked eye,
But for me, I could see, my failure tangled like the spiders web.
And oh my maths teacher, she often gave me a zero out of 25.

I don’t enjoy my daily coffee too,
It tastes bland, maybe 3 tsp isnt strong?
Maa tells me this coffee is making me senile,
Or maybe it’s your phone, that’s making you mad! She says.
Maybe she is right,
I’m stuck with this phone like the lover to its rose,
It’s the first thing I have in my hand and the last thing I check before I sleep.

How much are you sleeping nowadays shibu!? Maa questions me for the millionth time,
Are you even paying attention to what I’m saying?? I nodd, but she walks away
I dont sleep, really, just lie down on my unmade bed, lie with my warm blanket shielding me away from the ghosts of the past,
But they find an abode through the space I leave off below my cold feet,

Did I do enough today? I question myself
But all I hear is the last local honking in the background,
There is no sign of moon today,
I see a bat hanging upside down the almond tree infront of my window pane,
He swings so peacefully and silently rests by the other birds who usually attack him in day.

Bhai then blabbers in his sleep,
Something about his work, how he has to reach the intended goal for the month,
He then nods his head and tilts to other side of the bed,

Shibu dont you wanna sleep?” Dad’s hoarse voice alerts me away,

Yes, i will now”  the cold floor really feels weird during winter days,
With a quick look at the grey skies, I escalate towards my bed.

Goodnight dad” I mumble,

He ignores my words, as he sits by the window pane.