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Andreas Enrico Grunert: Broken Windows
Mzin – Bookshop and Project Room for Graphics and Art
It is the year 1969. US american psychologist Philip Zimbardo Der US-amerikanische Psychologe Philip Zimbardo conducts a field experiment: He parks two similar cars without license plates and with open engine hoods both in the New York Bronx and in Palo Alto, California and watches what happens. In the Bronx, the first vandals are a small family, father, mother and a little son who conquer the car within ten minutes and makes away with cooler and battery. After 24 hours the car is entirely salvaged, exposed to random destruction and used a playing ground by children. Most of the adult vandals were well-dressed whites.
In Palo Alto a pedestrian closes the engine hood as it starts to rain. Apart from that nothing happens for an entire week, until Zimbardo himself starts to break the car windows. Before long passersby join him and within a few hours the car is entirely destroyed and tipped over onto its roof. Again the vandals are mostly respected whites.
This experiment formed the basis for the study Broken Windows published by the american social scientists J. Q. Wilson and G. Kelling about a decade afterwards
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