Philip Zimbardo's The Lucifer Effect

Superior Essays
Before I begin my critical book review on The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Philip Zimbardo, I would like to give a brief background of the author Philip Zimbardo. Philip Zimbardo is a retired professor from the University of Stanford. In 2002, he became the president of the American Psychological Association. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Brooklyn College where he triple majored in psychology, anthropology, and anthropology. Zimbardo also earned his Master’s Degree and PhD in Psychology from Yale. Other than The Lucifer Effect, Zimbardo is known for his books Influencing Attitudes and Changing Behavior and Essentials of Psychology and Life. One of Philip Zimbardo’s greatest conducted psychological experiments …show more content…
This sort of misunderstanding should not surprise social psychologists. In one of the phycology classes I took here at Saint Vincent College I learned about the “fundamental attribution error”: the inclination when clarifying the actions of other individuals-particularly actions that points bad results-to overemphasize the significance of character behaviors and undervalue the authority of situational cases. Most especially in The Lucifer Effect, Zimbardo evaluates the notorious merciless actions passed out by the U.S. military employees in Abu Ghraib penitentiary. This part alone is worth every penny of the book. This part is not just extremely comprehensive, both emotionally and mentally, it also suggests the alarming viewpoint of an insider at the job, Staff Sergeant Chip Frederick. He was a manager on the evening shift at Abu Ghraib jail and one of the main wrongdoers in the abuse scandal. Zimbardo acted as a professional witness at Frederick's trial and actually familiarized himself with the defendant well. By the time Zimbardo had defined Frederick’s alteration from a great soldier to being an abuser at the jail, Abu Ghraib felt strangely similar to the Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo could have potentially used this real-life example of Staff Sergeant Chip Frederick and turned it into the Stanford Prison Experiment, but many do not know the answer to that

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