Theorist : Philip Zimbardo 's `` The Lucifer Effect ``

984 WordsMar 15, 20174 Pages
Theorist: Philip Zimbardo “ what makes people go wrong?” Dr Philip G. Zimbardo asked himself this very question at a young age. He believes that depending on the situation good people will do bad things and the line between good and evil is very much there and can easily be crossed. Philip Zimbardo, contributed to the field of psychology immensely in multiple ways, one being his theory, called the “The Lucifer Effect”, another being the Stanford prison experiment. Zimbardo was born in New York City on March 23,1933 and was raised in south bronx, where crime was at a high. As he was growing up he was intrigued with why people turned bad and what causes them to do such things. He graduated from Brooklyn college with a triple major in…show more content…
The experiment was conducted to resemble a prison and study the reactions of the guards and prisoners. The durations of the study was intended to be two weeks but with the extreme stress reactions it was only held for six days before having to shut it down. Five kids, had emotional breakdowns within five days of the experiment. The experiment held twenty four male college students and randomly assigned them to be guards and others to be prisoners. With the power the guards had, they dehumanized the prisoners and showed sadistic behaviors. The guards were not taught how to play there role, they just acted upon instinct, showing little to no empathy. They were left with power and no one to watch over them causing the behaviors that followed. Another key aspect Zimbardo mentions is that with anonymity, one will do things without feeling attached. In most wars, soldiers wear uniforms making them anonymous, others wear mask, or paint themselves. J. Watsons study shows that 12 of 13 will kill, torture, mutilate if there appearance has been altered. 12 of 13, rather than 1 of 13, which is the number for those who have not altered. Thus changing our appearance lets us detach from the act and not feel the guilt. Furthermore, Zimbardo ends, that the cure to all this is heroism. That we must stand and speak up when we see an evil doing. There are three paths one can take, one being the evil doer,

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