When psychologist Philip Zimbardo embarked on a new and outlandish social experiment in 1971, he could not possibly have predicted the outcome or repercussions. The Stanford prison experiment was a study that sought to investigate what happened to people when they were imprisoned. 24 student volunteers were randomly assigned as either guards or prisoners. The former were kitted out with guard uniforms and other associated paraphernalia. They were given sunglasses to wear and told you guard the prisoners in a mock prison in the basement of one of the Stanford University buildings. Those assigned as prisoners were 'arrested' and cuffed, and brought in by police cars to the 'prison' where they were placed in the cells.