The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil

Psychologist Zimbardo masterminded the famous Stanford Prison Experiment, in which students randomly assigned to be guards or inmates found themselves enacting abuse or submissiveness. In this investigation, he revisits the SPE study and applies it to historical examples of injustice. His troubling finding is that almost anyone, given the right influences, can be made to cooperate in violence and oppression. (He tacks on a feel-good chapter about “the banality of heroism,” with tips on how to resist malign situational pressures.)
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