He was to conduct it with the help of the students who some of them would take the role of prisoners while the rest would be the prison guards. Zimbardo assumed the role of a prison warden and was on the look out to ensure that both parties behaved accordingly. However, he instructed the guards not to use physical punishment to the prisoners. Since he could not force the students to participate, he placed adverts in the local newspapers and offered $15 per day for participants in this program that was to take place for two weeks. He got around seventy people volunteers who wanted to take the responsibilities.

However, he opted to choose twenty-four of them from the group who were the healthiest and were mentally and physically stable. Additionally, all the participants had no bad history in terms of committing crimes but had outstanding moral values and believe. The twelve of them were to be the prisoners and the other half was to be the guards.

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