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Sunday, January 10, 2010

How Do Good People Turn Evil?? Video and more...

According to Dr. Philip Zimbardo and others who research the psychology behind good and evil behavior, various psychological factors influence both.

If you have ever taken a Psychology class, you probably recognize Dr. Zimbardo's name. He is the man famous for having conducted the "Stanford Prison Experiment" years ago in which volunteers were randomly assigned to be prisoners and guards in a prison simulation experiment. The guards became ruthless, subjecting the inmates to awful punishments when they did not follow orders. Why is this important? Remember - the role of prisoner or guard was randomly assigned. This suggests that any person in the experiment had equal potential to perform such awful behaviors under such circumstances. In other words, it suggests that there is a strong power of the situation to determine our behavior. The outcome and its important implications regarding the prison system, ethics in research, and human behavior in generalwere very controversial and made a big impact in the field of psychology.

Dr. Zimbardo has since had a long research career investigating other related issues and published research and books including his recent book; "The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil".

Check out the talk he gave on that very same topic that was sponsored by Irvine Valley College online:

To learn more about the Stanford Prison experiment in words and images, see:

To learn more about Dr. Zimbardo's work, see: http://www.zimbardo.com/

Great job Irvine Valley College and the IVC Psi Beta Honor Society Chapter in organizing that talk!

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