Dr. Zimbardo 's ' Of The Stanford Prison Experiment ' Essay

1281 Words Nov 21st, 2015 6 Pages
Lucifer Effect

As a population, mankind wants to believe there is a little good in all of us, but there is just as easily a little evil in all of us. No one would know better then Dr. Philip Zimbardo, of the Stanford Prison Experiment. Dr. Zimbardo is an accredited psychologist whose study is one of the most well known today. His main focus in the area of social psychology was on “what turns people bad?” This is also known as the Lucifer Effect. While the Lucifer Effect is known for turning good to evil, Zimbardo argues that it can work in both ways. Good turns to evil, and evil can turn to good. It is within the capacity of the human mind to take the path of evil, the path of inaction, or the path of the hero, but it is up for the person to decide. In February of 2008, Zimbardo gave a T.E.D. talk concerning the “psychology of evil.” In this speech, Zimbardo clearly lays out the point that the line between “good” and “evil” is constantly shifting, changing, and being crossed.
He is quick to lay out that there is no such thing as a “bad apple,” anyone can turn towards the path of evil given the right circumstances, and even those deemed as “bad” can cross the line in the opposite direction. Zimbardo states that there is both good and evil ever present; it is “the Yin and Yang of the human condition.” During the talk, He defines evil as: “the exercise of power to intentionally harm people psychologically, to hurt people physically, to destroy people mortally (or…

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