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1. Ecological Approach: The work of the Chicago School and the impact of that perspective had a profound effect on research methods. What aspects of the ecological approach could be applicable today and why? Examples would be excellent! (You may have to search a bit for this. Please use not only our text, but do internet searches as well. ) The work of the Chicago School is even more useful in today’s society than it was when it was first pioneered, primarily because those efforts enabled the increased access we have to relevant information now, such as education levels, income levels, crime rates, etc.
Most importantly, our world is growing rapidly, and the ability to track what problems a city has, and where, can help us to find effective solutions to those problems. For example, if research indicates that a certain area of the city has a higher high-school dropout rate, efforts to keep kids in school can be increased in those neighborhoods. The ecological approach maintains the paradoxical stance that a society has problems because its individual members have problems, but its members have problems because the society has problems.
Thus, we must find solutions that work on both levels, which is essentially where the focus of the ecological approach lies. In addition, this allows us to address prevention issues. If we can map trends and growth, then we can put measures in place to effectively solve a problem before it occurs. A prime example of this is public education – projecting growth based on current trends could allow a school district to budget accordingly and thus reduce the financial strain that comes with unexpected expenses.
On another level, being able to identify the demographic that will be growing in the school population can help educators to better address those students’ needs. 2. Stanford Prison Simulation: Look for some of the information on the Stanford Prison Simulation. Phillip Zimbardo maintains a website for the experiment, linking it to contemporary issues like the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib during US military action in Iraq. Please look at this website http://www. prisonexp. org and provide your reactions in terms of the legitimacy of this kind of research.
Feel free to be TOTALLY HONEST. As far as the legitimacy of this kind of research goes, the reactions and psychological effects are surely genuine. However, ethical and moral values clearly indicate that research such as the Stanford Prison Simulation should not be undertaken. As professionals holding a position of trust, we have an ethical obligation to do only that which will benefit those whom we seek to help – and this is definitely harming people. From a moral standpoint as well, the information obtained was not worth the cost to the participants’ psychological health.
Several studies have been done regarding the effects of imprisonment on actual prison inmates and guards, and history provides numerous real-life examples of exactly what the researchers found in the Stanford Prison Simulation. Take, for instance, survivors’ accounts of WWII concentration camps. Therefore, this project was entirely unnecessary. Basic human understanding tells us that when people are placed in highly stressful situations, where their basic human rights may be threatened or taken away, they will react in potentially volatile ways, and as a result, their psychological health will suffer.
This is evident in prisoners and guards alike – the prisoners’ freedom is taken away, they rebel, causing the guards to feel that their personal safety is threatened, so they take away more freedoms – it is a cycle. However, this should be common sense and research should focus on ways to resolve these issues instead of trying to figure out why it happened. We know why it happened – because they’re human.