The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil

Philip Zimbardo


The definitive firsthand account of the groundbreaking learn of Philip Zimbardo—the foundation for the award-winning movie The Stanford legal Experiment

Renowned social psychologist and writer of the Stanford criminal test Philip Zimbardo explores the mechanisms that make sturdy humans do undesirable issues, how ethical humans could be seduced into performing immorally, and what this says in regards to the line keeping apart sturdy from evil.

The Lucifer Effect explains how—and the myriad purposes why—we are all vulnerable to the trap of “the darkish side.” Drawing on examples from historical past in addition to his personal trailblazing learn, Zimbardo information how situational forces and team dynamics can paintings in live performance to make monsters out of first rate males and women. 

the following, for the 1st time and intimately, Zimbardo tells the entire tale of the Stanford legal test, the landmark learn during which a gaggle of college-student volunteers was once randomly divided into “guards” and “inmates” after which positioned in a ridicule criminal surroundings. inside of per week the examine was once deserted, as usual students have been reworked into both brutal, sadistic guards or emotionally damaged prisoners.

by way of illuminating the mental motives at the back of such annoying metamorphoses, Zimbardo permits us to higher comprehend various harrowing phenomena, from company malfeasance to prepared genocide to how as soon as upstanding American squaddies got here to abuse and torture Iraqi detainees in Abu Ghraib. He replaces the long-held suggestion of the “bad apple” with that of the “bad barrel”—the concept that the social atmosphere and the process contaminate the person, instead of the wrong way around.

it is a ebook that dares to carry a reflect as much as mankind, displaying us that we'd no longer be who we expect we're. whereas forcing us to reexamine what we're able to doing whilst stuck up within the crucible of behavioral dynamics, even though, Zimbardo additionally deals desire. we're able to resisting evil, he argues, and will even train ourselves to behave heroically. Like Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem and Steven Pinker’s The clean Slate, The Lucifer Effect is a surprising, engrossing research that may switch the way in which we view human behavior.

Praise for The Lucifer Effect

The Lucifer Effect will switch endlessly how you take into consideration why we behave the way in which we do—and, specifically, in regards to the human power for evil. it is a hectic e-book, yet one who hasn't ever been extra necessary.”—Malcolm Gladwell

“An very important e-book . . . All politicians and social commentators . . . may still learn this.”The instances (London)

“Powerful . . . a very important addition to the literature of the psychology of violence or ‘evil.’”The American Prospect

“Penetrating . . . Combining a dense yet readable and infrequently engrossing exposition of social psychology learn with an impassioned ethical seriousness, Zimbardo demanding situations readers to seem past glib denunciations of evil-doers and give some thought to our collective accountability for the world’s ills.”Publishers Weekly

“A sprawling dialogue . . . Zimbardo a radical narrative of the Stanford felony scan with an research of the social dynamics of the Abu Ghraib legal in Iraq.”Booklist

“Zimbardo bottled evil in a laboratory. The classes he realized exhibit us our darkish nature but additionally fill us with desire if we heed their counsel. The Lucifer impact reads like a novel.”—Anthony Pratkanis, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology, collage of California

From the Hardcover edition.

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