37 years after psychologist Philip Zimbardo ended the Stanford Prison experiment early, citing problems with ethics, Zimbardo does the same with the San Francisco experiment, citing similar ethical concerns.
For his San Francisco experiment, Zimbardo purchased 100 acres of deserted farmland by Oakland, California in 1972, and populated it with approximately one million participants. Participants were originally paid $15 per day to “live life normally.”
“I had originally set out to set up a psychological experiment on a grander scale when I created San Francisco,” said Zimbardo. “I thought a hilly environment by the bay with great year-around weather would inspire positive social interaction. I regret that I was wrong, and I just produced a city of a bunch of ass holes.”
Study participants will be asked to evacuate so that the land may be reclaimed as a landfill. On the reclamation, Zimbardo comments, “a landfill will be an upgrade from the current cultural wasteland that it currently is.”