TED- The psychology of evil | Philip Zimbardo

The psychology of evil | Philip Zimbardo

Kris Notes 4-13-2018- Wait? Im doing these notes on Friday the 13th? wow what a coincidence? 😉

WATCH WICKED ON BROADWAY. (suggestion from my tenant)- its about good VS evil

What makes good people go bad?

This guy talks SO DAMN FAST these notes are going to be limited.(actually, now that im done, I was able to write down ALLLOOOOOOOT of notes. I was not expecting this)

How do psychologists understand such transformations of human character?

These 3 factors:

Dispositional- Inside of the individual. The bad apples
Situational- External: The bad barrel the apples are in
Systemic- Broad Influences: political, economic, legal power: The bad barrel makers

The system creates the environment that corrupts the individuals. This is where the real power is.

If you want to change a person, you have to change the situation, the environment. If you want to change the system you have to know where the power is in the system.

  1. What are the people bringing into the situation?
  2. What does the situation bring out of them?
  3. What is the system that creates, and maintains the situations?
Cartoon: Im neither a good cop, or bad cop Jerome, like yourself, im a complex amalgam of positive and negative personality traits that emerge, or not, depending on the circumstances. WOW.

Would you electrocute a stranger if hitler asked you to?

  • Could the holocaust occur again in America?
  • The shocking answers by Stanley milgram (1963)
  • With 1,000 ordinary people who answered his AD……….

So he put people in a situation to see what people are capable of doing. Skip to 10:00 in the video to LISTEN to the example he gives. WOW just WOW!!!!!!

Cliff notes: With the right authority put into place, you can essentially get 2/3rd’s of people to be obedient under the most atrocious circumstances known to man. This is because most people are just follow orders, they obey. 912 Americans committed suicide or were murdered by family and friends in 1978 Guyana. Simply because of their blind obedience.

The power of institution absolutely influences human behavior.

Another test was done. Can skip to 13:30. Essentially students in college were picked to participate in a study. Guards VS Prisioners.

Extreme stress reactions in 36 hours and got worse daily. Ended in 6 days. The experiment had sun way out of control.

7 social processes that grease the slippery slope of evil:

-Mindlessly taking the first small step
– Dehumanization of others
– De-Individuation of self (anonymity)
– Diffusion of personal responsibility
– Uncritical conformity to group norms
– Passive tolerance of evil through inaction, or indifference.

Happens when you are in a new, or unfamiliar situation.

“Nothing is easier than to denounce the evil dooer, nothing more difficult than understanding him”

Understanding is NOT excusing. Ordinary people can be transformed without the drugs, just the 7 social psychological processes.

When you get people in groups, influence can spread quickly. People are more likely to engage in bad behavior when other people are engaging in bad behavior.

If you give people power without oversight, it’s a prescription for ABUSE.

Bullying is a disease, prejudice is a disease, violence is a disease.

We deal with issues at the INDIVIDUAL level, and not the SYSTEMATIC level. AND IT DOESN’T WORK! PARADIGM SHIFT! WOOOO!“the line of good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being”- it’s a decision we ALL have to make.

Refocuses away from EVIL to understanding HEROS:

-Ordinary people do extraordinary moral deeds in certain situations

Traditional societal heroes: Gandhi, Nelson mandela, MLK, are exceptions- they organize their lives around sacrifice for a cause

Childrens fantasy heros: superman, spider man, wonder woman. They are not REALITY role models for kids. They posses supernatural powers.

We need our kids to realize that most heros are every day people, who emerge as heros only in particular situations.

The key to heroism is: ACT  when other people are passive, and act socio centrically and not EGO centrically.

One day, YOU will be in a new situation with 3 paths:

  1. You become a perpertrator of evil
  2. You become guilty of passive inaction
  3. You become a HERO!!!!

Are we willing to take the path in celebrating ORDINARY HERO’s? There may be a situation in your life that presents itself ONCE, which one of these 3 are you going to be?



Author: Kris

Hi my name is Kris, and I am addicted to personal development, and the word DETERMINATION! :) and BRENÉ BROWN!!! And BRIAN JOHNSON!!! Aaaaaaaand WOOOO!!!! 142.

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