“Shame on you, Duncan!”: Students and staff rally against casualisation at Melbourne University

University of Melbourne staff and students rallied outside Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell’s Parkville mansion yesterday in opposition to the University’s growing casualisation of teaching staff.

Students and staff say no to the Robert Menzies Institute

Students gathered on South Lawn yesterday to protest the opening gala of the Liberal-backed think-tank Robert Menzies Institute (RMI).

An open letter to all student politicians

As sleek Facebook frames are slowly being removed from the profile pictures of university students in their early twenties, and social media feeds are returning to normal from constant ‘vote for me’ c

"Please don’t ask if we’ve tried yoga”: Students fighting for disability support

Despite the University’s push to make learning accessible, through programs such as SEDS and Access Melbourne, there have yet to be endorsements from students that these programs are appropriate. Inst

Cinemas Buckle Under the Weight of the Netflix Empire

Will Hollywood blockbuster-type films continue to use Netflix as their outlet, or will they return to their rightful spot on the big screen?



Science Lab: The Stanford Science Experiment

<p>Grab a few friends and witness the breakdown of social niceties based on arbitrary allocations to opposing groups.</p>

To celebrate the release of The Stanford Prison Experiment, a film adaption of the world-famous psychological study of imprisonment, grab a few friends and witness the breakdown of social niceties based on arbitrary allocations to opposing groups.


  20 or so participants, the more the merrier. Ideally, they won’t have existing relationships with one another.

  Any building that could conceivably become a prison

  A hat

  X pieces of paper, where x is the number of participants you’ve gathered up to participate.

  At least a few days freed up for the experiment. The record is six.


Step 1. Write either ‘prisoner’ or ‘guard’ on your pieces of paper. Ensure there are more prisoners than guards.

Step 2. Have your participants select a piece of paper out of the hat. This will become their allocated group for the duration of the experiment.

Step 3. Inform your participants that they’ll be playing the part of their allocated group. Impress upon the guards the importance of keeping the prisoners in line, and impress upon the prisoners the need to comply with the guards. The guards should be allowed free rein, including the opportunity to design their own rules and corresponding punishments.

Step 4. Remove any opportunity for either group to interact with the outside world, save for deliveries of food and water.

Step 5. Take a step back from proceedings, lock the doors and let the magic begin. With any luck, your groups will quite quickly become opposed to each other, and there will be no more of the friendly banter between strangers that always occurs during extended periods of being forced to socialise.

Step 6. When things get ugly and the guards begin to abuse their powers by implementing more and more psychologically damaging punishments, don’t even consider calling off the experiment.

Step 7. (Optional bonus step) Try and beat the original experiment’s runtime of six days before being called off by the University’s ethics committee. You could host the experiment off-campus in a private residence if you want to make this step easier.

If you’ve performed these steps correctly, the two groups will genuinely hate each other by the end of the experiment and will likely need counselling to overcome the trauma of what they’ve done or been subjected to. To think that all it took was for you to create an artificial divide between two groups of otherwise amicable strangers.

The original prison experiment highlighted the interesting ways in which the assumption of different roles affects individuals’ behaviour. Many of the ‘prisoners’ involved accepted the treatment they received, despite the fact that they were able to withdraw from the study at any time. Some prisoners even helped to abuse those who were acting out, simply because they had been told to obey. It’s intriguing to wonder just how much of social interaction is based upon the fulfillment of whatever role we are assigned for different situations.

Farrago's magazine cover - Edition Three 2021


Our final editions for the year are jam packed full of news, culture, photography, poetry, art, fiction and more...

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