Ben Blum: "The Lifespan of a Lie"
This week's Playback features an investigative showdown. Journalist Ben Blum looks into the reality of the most famous psychology study to ever be conducted, The Stanford Prison Experiment, and makes some shocking discoveries himself. Embedded in Blum's story, you'll hear clips from his interviews with psychologist Philip Zimbardo and participants, as well as real archival audio from the experiment Blum uncovered in his reporting. The experiment became famous for the finding that people can be influenced to do horrible things by their environment — or “powerful situational forces” — and not through their own malicious intent. In "The Lifespan of a Lie," Blum looks back into the cracks and fissures of the methodology and speaks with participants who claim they were just playing along rather than expressing real fears and desires while locked up. Who's telling the truth? You'll hear the author read his story and chat with host Manoush Zomorodi about the lasting societal impact of the the experiment and the troublesome behaviors it has helped to excuse.