Tag Archives: insurance adjusters

Can the Famous Stanford Prison Experiment Explain Arbitrary Benefit Denial by Insurance Adjusters?

Stanford Prison Experiment Guard

A Stanford student playing the part of a guard

Over the years I’ve seen a handful of workers’ compensation adjusters who seem to forget that injured employees are real people who have families and are going through a difficult time, physically and psychologically, because of a workplace accident.

Adjusters have complete authority over people who are subject to their control. In 1971, a Stanford psychology professor wanted to answer the question: What happens if you take good people and give some of them absolute power over others?

What happens if you take good people and give some of them absolute power over others?

He set up an experiment to see how Stanford students would behave if they suddenly found themselves in a prison, either as guards or as prisoners. The basement of the psychology building was transformed into a prison, and students who volunteered for the experiment were randomly assigned as a prisoner or a guard.

The results were horrifying Continue reading