The Psychology of Evil
In this video Dr. Philip Zombardo discusses the psychology of evil. He explains that there are many different definitions of evil. He believes evil is the exercise of power to intentionally harm psychologically, hurt physically or destroy mortally. Some questions he covers are, what makes people go wrong? Are people born evil or grow evil over time? He goes over the many experiments he has done and examples to test and prove his theory.
Dr. Zombardo believes situations corrupt people. Legal power and society influence people. It’s a bad barrel instead of bad apples as he said in the video. He uses the Abu Ghraib abuses as an example. The abusing only went on during night shifts when there were no surveillances and the abusing happened in only one location. Why was this happening in only one location and why was only this certain group of guards cooperating in this? Dr. Philip Zombardos hypothesis is that they are good people but the situation corrupted them. He also tells us about another experiment that he conducted. This was to prove how people give into immoral, unjust authority. He had people volunteer from the ages of twenty to fifty and they were either picked to be a learner or teacher. They had tests set up for the learners to practice their memory and when they did something incorrect or were wrong the teacher had to shock them fifteen volts and so on. The learners begin to show pain and discomfort from the shocks and started screaming. The shocking thing is very few teachers quit. Psychiatrists hypothesized that only one percent would go to four hundred and fifty volts but they were wrong. Two thirds of the teachers went all the way to the end. I believe they continued because every other teacher around them also continued and the people instructing them told them it was okay. That is a perfect example that society does influence us.
I strongly agree with Dr. Philip Zombardo. All the evidence and proof was right there...
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