One thing I find fascinating about the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment is what is apparently known as "The Lucifer Effect."
I have always been a firm believer that we won't know how we will react in a situation unless we are faced with that situation and actually have to make the choice. We can know how we'd think we'd react, or how we hope we'd react, but how we would actually react is always going to be unknown to an extent.
That said, I think it ultimately boils down to character, the choices we make in daily life, and even how we've reacted and the choices we've made in past situations that have come our way.
The other point I find fascinating about this whole thing is that both guards and prisoners fell captive to their respective rolls, only one man truly rebelled. Was he able to verbalize what he knew instinctually was happening? Was he able to say "look guys, this experiment has gotten completely out of hand for reasons x, y, and z"? Not exactly, but he was the only one who truly rebelled. He was the only one who recognized the reality of the situation and acted upon it.
As I remember even the other "prisoners" hated him because he was fucking up the system, nevermind that it was all an experiment, they were so trapped in their rolls.
What does this say about humanity? What does this say about reality? What does this say for those who can't be bothered with anything other than status quo?
i highly suggest checking out articles related to the subject:
The Stanford Prison Experiment: A Simulation Study of the Psychology of Imprisonment
especially the pdf entitled "The Banality of Heroism" :
what do you think?