Power of The Situation

psychpost | 7/24/2011 11:40:00 PM | 24 Comments
Link to video.

In Phillip Zimbardo's famous Stanford Prison Study he converted a basement of the Psychology department at Stanford University into a mock prison. Participants were randomly assigned to play either a "guard" or a "prisoner". Zimbardo tells the guards "You can create in the prisoners feelings of boredom, a sense of fear to some degree, you can create a notion of arbitrariness that their life is totally controlled by us, by the system, you, me, and they'll have no privacy... We're going to take away their individuality in various ways. In general what all this leads to is a sense of powerlessness. That is, in this situation we'll have all the power and they'll have none."

He wanted to discover the key to abusive prison situations. Either there was something inherently "bad" about guards that caused them to abuse prisoners or there was something about the situation they were in that causes them to abuse prisoners. Pretty soon into the experiment, the guards are seen demoralizing and treating the prisoners poorly.

"The results of the experiment are said to support situational attribution of behavior rather than dispositional attribution. In other words, it seemed the situation caused the participants' behavior, rather than anything inherent in their individual personalities." Source.

Table Image (Poker)

psychpost | 7/07/2011 01:10:00 PM | 12 Comments

Table image is the perception other players may form about another player. The most common table image labels are: loose, aggressive, passive, or tight. Other, more specific labels include: places too much value in hands, calling stations, weak, likeliness of 3bet or shove, plays only nuts.

A mistake people often make when "forming" a table image is that they begin "playing into" their image too quickly. Complaints of "I was playing so tight the whole night, how do you fucking call me?" often arise.

Also, when you have "formed" a table image, some players use their image and incorrectly target players. The more novice an opponent is, the less likely they are to notice your "image". The table image you perceive of yourself may not match the other player's image of you.

Once you have established you table image make sure that your plays still make sense. For example if you have a very tight/aggressive table image and you decide to mix up your gameplay with low suited-connectors, you should play the hand consistent with your image.

Written for: Busto to Robusto
PHOTO CREDIT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/