Student Spotlight: Senior Thesis and Colloquium-Allison '20

Senior Thesis and Colloquium is the culmination of a seven-year journey. Bosque seniors undertake a yearlong independent research project and deliver their findings in a twenty-page research essay, as well as in a public presentation at Colloquium. Over the course of the year, students will submit a formal prospectus, conduct text-based research and fieldwork, and test their arguments at a defense. Stay tuned for more information about Colloquium and other major events.

Allison ‘20
To what extent do the guards in the Stanford Prison Experiment illustrate guard-on-prisoner violence in the American prison industrial complex?

About Allison’s Thesis:
The Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) was a study conducted in 1971 in which Dr. Philip Zimbardo brought nine prisoners and nine guards to the Stanford County Prison and observed their behavior. Over the course of just a few days, the guards began to display a high amount of sadism in their treatment of the prisoners. In the prison industrial complex in America, there are innumerable accounts of guards using violence against prisoners as a way of subduing the prisoners into submission. 

Allison chose this topic because psychology interests her greatly, and she wants to matriculate into the medical field after college. Since a psychology class isn't offered at Bosque, she chose to do her thesis surrounding psychology in another topic that interests her: the prison industrial complex. “In International Relations we studied the complex, and it was something I wanted to explore further,” Allison explained.

Researcher Bio:
Allison is the co-president of Bosque’s Medical Reserve Corps chapter, a technical theater stage manager, and a track & field athlete.