The Psychology of Evil
Based on the prison abuse at Abu Ghraib and Dr. Zimbardo
What happened at Abu Ghraib (Brief Description)
"During the war in Iraq that began in March 2003, personnel of the United States Army and the Central Intelligence Agency committed a series of human rights violations against detainees in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq."
American soldiers tortured and abused these prisoners brutally just because they had the power to do so. They were not ordered to do it, they took advantage of their capabilities.
What is Dr. Zimbardo's theory?
Understanding that the fine line between good and evil is permeable
- Being permeable, different people are able to cross the line back and forth. Meaning good people can be seduced into crossing that line and being perpetrators of evil just as bad people can recover with help, reform, or rehabilitation.
How do psychologists understand such transformations of human character and behavior?
- Aside from the fine line of good and evil being permeable, there are other ways to understand such transformations like..
- There are "bad apples" in "bad barrels" and "good barrels".
- Dispositional: the foundation of all social science meaning to look at what is internal of the individual. (bad apples).
- Situational: the external factors around the individual. (bad barrel).
- System: the head of all internal and external functions. (bad barrel makers) also where the power is.
What makes people go wrong?
1st Picture: TomDispatch.com. (n.d.). Retrieved December 15, 2015, from http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175836/tomgram:_karen_greenberg,_abu_ghraib_never_left_us/
Gallery Pictures: Abu Ghraib Abuse Photos. (n.d.). Retrieved December 15, 2015, from http://www.antiwar.com/news/?articleid=8560
All info and Dr Zimbardo's Bias:
The psychology of evil. (n.d.). Retrieved December 19, 2015, from https://www.ted.com/talks/philip_zimbardo_on_the_psychology_of_evil