Many Americans were frustrated with Congress's inability to agree on a debt reduction plan up until the final moments before the August 2 deadline. As Congressional Democrats and Republicans refused to cooperate, their in-fighting was threatening the economy and holding the American public hostage, helpless to take action. We wondered if there were any parallels between the situation on Capitol Hill and the Stanford Prison Experiment, a simulation study on the psychology of imprisonment that took place at Stanford University in the summer of 1971. So we consulted some of the people involved in that experiment.
Dr. Craig Haney, professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, was one of the graduate students who devised the experiment. He joins us, along with Dave Eshleman, who played a guard in the experiment and now owns a mortgage company.