The Lucifer Effect Summary

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The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil is written by Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D and published in 2007. He is professionally known as a psychologist and a professor at Stanford University as well as the founder and president of the Heroic Imagination Project. He graduated summa cum laude from Brooklyn College with a triple major in psychology, sociology, and anthropology in 1954. Then he attended Yale University where he received his Master’s degree and Doctorate in psychology. He is married to Christina Maslach, who is most responsible for voicing her opposition to the Stanford Prison Experiment after she saw what was occurring in it. This book is the 14th work of his and is the second booth talking about the Stanford …show more content…
In order to understand what the book is talking about, you must understand each of the situations. The book largely explains both scenarios. The Stanford Prison Experiment was conducted in the basement of the psychology department at Stanford University in August 1971. They took 24 males that were “stable and healthy” and divided them into two groups being guards and inmates. However, it took a turn for the worse when the guards not being restricted or controlled through supervision abused their power. Ultimately, Zimbardo shut it down when his eyes were opened by his girlfriend at the time saying that she could not be with a man that would allow this horrible mistreatment of other humans for the sake of knowledge. The Abu Ghraib Prison incident is very similar to the Stanford Prison Experiment, but it is a real life scenario of this abuse of power occurring at a real life prison during the war in Iraq by United States reserve soldiers. Similarly, the Abu Ghraib Prison incident was not brought to light until someone that was not part of the experiment reported it to an investigator after seeing the pictures one of the guards took during …show more content…
Philip Zimbardo (and his graduate students as well as other personnel) designed a very poor experiment that would have never been approved in present day. Nevertheless, this experiment most likely helped push guidelines to be more stringent to prevent such experiments from occurring in the future. The experiment was very successful because it basically broke the inmate students into believing that they truly were inmates that broke the law and deserved to be there. However, Zimbardo’s supervising crew never once stops the experiment for completely messing with the inmate students psyches. Furthermore, he is a most likely former Christian that talks about Satan and God forming hell. However, he completely creates his own form of hell for the inmate students that they were basically being forced to endure. Even when they said they didn’t want to be part of it anymore, Zimbardo did not remove them immediately and actually sent them back into the experiment to give them a second thought which allowed for more damage/persuasion by the guards. Finally, they set very inadequate limits on what the guards were not allowed to do that basically amounted to no physical abuse. Still, they cross that line a few times especially when they used the fire extinguishers to get the inmates out of their

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