On December 5, 2012 the BBC Prison Study website will receive its 500,000th visitor.
Since it was launched in late 2008 the number of visitors to the site has steadily increased and in recent months it has logged a record number of sessions. This follows publications in a number of leading journals, notably PLoS Biology and Perspectives on Psychological Science. These papers expand upon the increasingly influential idea that tyranny arises from engaged followership rather than blind conformity.
As the graph below shows, the majority of the site’s users come from the USA (on average, 44%), the UK (21%), and China (7%). However, heavy traffic also comes from Australia, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands (all around 3%). Last month visitors arrived from a total of 72 countries, as diverse as Ethiopia and Ecuador, the Virgin Islands and the Vatican State.
On average, users record 28 hits per session, and to date over 400GB of data has been downloaded from the site’s pages. Reflecting its status as a core study on the UK A-level syllabus, the most downloaded materials are the original BJSP paper in which the study's key findings are reported, together with commentaries from Philip Zimbardo and John Turner.
The site was originally created with funding from the Economic and Social Research Council and it is maintained by Fellowship funds from the UK Higher Education Academy and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. We are very grateful for this support and for the constant feedback we receive from visitors.