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The Lucifer Effect por Zimbardo
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The Lucifer Effect (2007)

por Zimbardo

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,634267,978 (3.94)30
What makes good people do bad things? Where is the line separating good from evil, and who is in danger of crossing it? Social psychologist Philip Zimbardo explains how--and the myriad reasons why--we are all susceptible to the lure of "the dark side." Drawing on examples from history as well as his own research, Zimbardo details how situational forces and group dynamics can work in concert to make monsters out of decent people. By illuminating the psychological causes behind such disturbing metamorphoses, Zimbardo enables us to better understand a variety of phenomena, from corporate malfeasance to organized genocide. He replaces the long-held notion of the "bad apple" with that of the "bad barrel"--the idea that the social setting and the system contaminate the individual, rather than the other way around. Yet we are capable of resisting evil, he argues, and can even teach ourselves to act heroically.--From publisher description.Includes information on Abu Ghraib Prison, Achilles as archetypal war hero, administrative evil, Afghanistan, anonymity, Army Reserve Military Police (MPs), Britain, Bush administration, bystander intervention, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Dick Cheney, conformity, corporations, U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), dehumanization, deindividuation, doctors, Lynndie England, evil, Ivan (Chip) Frederick, II, genocide, good, Charles Graner, Guantanamo Bay Prison, heroism, Adolf Hitler, Holocaust, human nature, Saddam Hussein, identity, inaction as force for evil, International Committee of the Red Cross, Iraq, Iraq War, Katrina hurricane disaster as crisis of inaction, persuasive uses of language, Lord of the Flies (Golding), lynchings, Military Intelligence (MI), moral disengagement, My Lai massacre, national security, U.S. Navy, Nazis, New York City, 1984 (Orwell), obedience to authority, otherness, Pentagon, Peopleʾs Temple cult, personal responsibility, power systems, prejudice, prisons, rape, role playing, rules, Donald Rumsfeld, situational forces, sleep deprivation, social approval, social influence, social psychology, Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) http://www.prisonexperiment.org, Taguba Report, torture, transformation of character, Vietnam War, violence, war, war on terror, whistle-blowers, women, World War II, etc.… (mais)
Membro:springheeledjim
Título:The Lucifer Effect
Autores:Zimbardo
Informação:Publisher Unknown
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Pormenores da obra

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil por Philip Zimbardo (2007)

  1. 20
    Obedience to Authority por Stanley Milgram (PickledOnion42)
    PickledOnion42: Two of the most famous experiments in social psychology – Milgram's Obedience Experiement and Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment – both cast light on the negative aspect of human behaviour from two different perspectives. Taken together these two works show how human atrocities can happen anywhere.… (mais)
  2. 20
    War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning por Chris Hedges (bertilak)
  3. 00
    Humankind: A Hopeful History por Rutger Bregman (peter_vandenbrande)
    peter_vandenbrande: Het onderzoek van Zimbardo blijkt zoveel jaren later niet helemaal eerlijk te zijn uitgevoerd en ook de conclusies blijken achterhaald. Dat heeft Rutger Bregman toch besloten op basis van zijn opzoekwerk.
  4. 00
    One of the Guys: Women as Aggressors and Torturers por Tara McKelvey (TheLittlePhrase)
  5. 00
    The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature por Steven Pinker (PickledOnion42)
  6. 00
    Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing por James Waller (bertilak)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 26 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Well, I bought this book when it was just out, so it was this huge hardback. I got to like halfway (because it was really interesting) and then it got left for many years. Because it was too heavy to carry around. Once I got kindle I finally bought a kindle version and now I've read it!

I first got interested in Stanford Prison Experiment when I was about 10 and was devouring Reader's Digest. There was a story about the experiment and it fascinated me. I think this was about the first time I realized people are usually not good or evil. As in, it's not black and white. So, when I heard Zimbardo's interview about the book on Skepticality podcast, I knew I needed to read this book. And it was so interesting. I would've given 5 stars for the subject matter, but I think the writing was a bit long-winded, so that's the reason I came down to 4. But I think Zimbardo really challenges you to think about who you are and what you would do in that situation. And if you think you know, think again. ( )
  RankkaApina | Feb 22, 2021 |
I read about the infamous prison experiment many times but never in such detail - half of the book is a step by step first hand account. Further into the book it also includes other experiments to support its thesis of the extent of systems' shaping people's behaviour being far stronger than anyone anticipates.

I tend to agree but I think the prison experiment itself is of dubious merit. Aside from many technical failures, if anything it shows how far a group of youngsters will go to earn some money. If you compare it to the Milgram obedience experiment (which the book cites extensively as well) it's not even in the same category of validity - there's no analogy absurd enough to illustrate that.

The rest of the book is Zimbardo getting political urging jailtime for generals and politicians for creating these systems. I think it's fair although his zeal is disturbing, clearly not a fan of the American government. He is a fan of mother Theresa though which makes me question his moral judgements.

One interesting thing I didn't know about the prison experiment was that he only called an end to it because he wanted to sleep with the attractive young woman who showed disapproval for what he was doing. Well, that puts an unexpected spin on it. Love is the key to saving our humanity? ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
The Lucifer Effect is an interesting but grossly overwrought and ponderous study of relative good and evil in the human psyche. Philip Zimbardo's thesis is that, regardless of background, belief structure or personal traits, everyone has within them the capacity for good and evil and that whichever of these is brought out is determined by the situation they find themselves in and the system by which they operate. Zimbardo was the psychologist in charge of the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment in 1971, when a group of ordinary people volunteering for a university study were split into two groups: prisoners and guards. The project was abandoned less than a week in, as 'guards' became increasingly abusive and 'prisoners' alarmingly pathological. Zimbardo's experiences in this infamous psychological experiment are recounted in (excruciating) detail in a narrative that forms the first part of this book. The second part deals with the lessons learned from this experiment, in which Zimbardo's thesis and conclusions are expanded on. The third part applies the lessons of Stanford to the abuses which occurred at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2003-4, and a fourth, much shorter part deals with the 'banality' of everyday heroism and goodness (which seems like a fillip, after the previous 400 pages of examples of human cruelty and misery, of reminding us that we're not all bad all of the time).

The stuff Zimbardo is discussing can be quite arresting and despite the numerous flaws in The Lucifer Effect (which I shall come onto) this look into the human abyss did maintain my interest. The acknowledgement, backed up by empirical data and psychological analysis, that humans are capable of both good and evil is an important one. Even in our supposedly enlightened modern age, we too often rely on the crutch of absolute good and evil when explaining people's actions. Zimbardo not only provides conclusive (if exhaustive) proof that this is a fallacy, but also touches on why this is dangerous. Very early on, he notes how the traditional view lets 'good' people off the responsibility hook" when bad things happen (pp 6-7), discouraging reform and change as 'nothing could have been done to stop them – they're just evil'. It encourages ignorance, injustice and complicity. Nevertheless, he is keen to note that acknowledging the role of 'the System' in creating a situation that allows people to do bad things does not make him an apologist for evil, only that we should be realistic in acknowledging how unusual and stressful circumstances can change psychological behaviour and how lazy systemic operating practices can permit or even encourage abuses. As he says with regards to Abu Ghraib, had the American civil and military authorities invested even "a fraction of that attention, concern and resources" to oversight and administration of the Iraqi prison system that they did to the disciplining of the crude jailors after the horse had bolted, there would have been no need for any trials (pg. 370).

Nevertheless, despite the importance of the topic and the strength of Zimbardo's argument, there were significant flaws in the book. The writing style is quite dry and clinical – like an academic monograph – and there is little discrimination in the examples provided (i.e. rather than choose between two suitable case studies to illustrate his point, he just gives us both). To exacerbate this, the author repeats himself ad nauseam, drumming his arguments into the reader with the same phrases, examples and quotations over and over like a broken record player. I only read The Lucifer Effect once, but by the time I closed it I felt like I had read it five times. Part of me wonders whether Zimbardo was mischievously conducting his own psychological experiment into the effects of déjà vu.

I also found Zimbardo's discussion of heroism towards the end of the book rather weak. He is less intellectually rigorous in analysing this than he was in discussing evil and the section seems like an afterthought, as if it were a fillip after the previous 400 pages of examples of human cruelty and misery to remind us that we're not all bad all of the time. His 'heroes' are chosen with obvious and unscientific bias, and include the dogmatic puritan Mother Teresa and his own wife. Mother Teresa is here apparently only on reputation, which was built up by an uncritical Western media which ignored (and continues to ignore) the more unsavoury aspects of her life's work (I don't find it a coincidence that Zimbardo was raised a Catholic). His wife – the psychologist Christina Maslach – was the one who dissented when the Stanford Prison Experiment got out of control, which persuaded Zimbardo to belatedly pull the plug on the whole thing. This makes her a woman of integrity, to be sure, but hardly a hero. When Zimbardo dedicates the book at the start to his "serene heroine" wife I took it to be husbandly affection. Yet he uses this label whenever her name pops up throughout the book, so much so that part of me wonders whether Zimbardo was mischievously conducting his own psychological experiment into the effects of déjà vu...

A further flaw in The Lucifer Effect is that it becomes intensely political. Early on, Zimbardo is patting himself on the back for his involvement in left-wing, anti-war student activism in the Sixties and Seventies. I accepted this as an authorial affectation but later on, after discussing Abu Ghraib, Zimbardo begins to go wildly beyond his remit for the book. He starts imagining Bush Administration officials on trial for crimes against humanity, styling himself as an investigative reporter (even though, as he admits, he repeatedly refused to take an active part in the Abu Ghraib investigations as he was scared of entering the Iraq war-zone). By the time he suggests Jonestown was sponsored by the CIA (pg. 479), I was well and truly ready to be done with his book. It doesn't matter if you agree with his views – and, in some respects, I do (about Abu Ghraib) – but he's not being objective in his thesis by this point. His left-wing activist bias has broken through and started to set fire to the wagons and you do begin to wonder... When he's talking about 'the System' and how it creates situations that compel people to do bad things, is he thinking back to his radical days and the mantras about how 'the Man' always beat people down? His thesis is strong enough to withstand these doubts, but it does wipe away some of the gloss.

Despite these weaknesses, The Lucifer Effect did forward a thought-provoking thesis and I finished it with a greater appreciation for, as Zimbardo says, "the ways in which humanity can be transformed by power and powerlessness" (pg. 195). It is powerful and unnerving stuff to read at times, despite some debilitating bias and tonal errors (he ends this bleak journey into the heart of human darkness not with a lofty summation or open-ended food for thought but a flippant, personal "Thanks for sharing this journey with me. Ciao, Phil Zimbardo." (pg. 488)). One finishes it with a greater recognition of just how fragile our psyches are and how negligent we are of their defence. As Zimbardo shows, many of us in these high-pressured situations wouldn't be heroes or even decent people but would act as the guards did at Stanford or at Abu Ghraib. Not out of evil pique or moral corruption or sadistic fancy but because we are human – flawed and malleable. Too often, we "function on automatic pilot" (pg. 452), lazily drifting through life thinking we're the 'good guys'. But Zimbardo shows that evil behaviour is not induced by 'exotic' influences like brainwashing but by mundanity: normal people reacting to abnormal situations and systems (pg. 258). Most of the time, those who are doing bad things think they are doing it for the right reasons, and it is precisely this conviction that "oh no, we'd never do anything like that", which is potentially fatal. This "myth of our invulnerability to situational forces" is the very thing that makes us vulnerable, by "not being sufficiently vigilant" to the persuasiveness of these forces (pg. 211). To appropriate a phrase that Zimbardo uses repeatedly, we're not all bad apples but sometimes we can find ourselves floating in a bad barrel. The Lucifer Effect has enough flaws that it won't come to be seen as the definitive voice on this subject, but it is a powerful and disconcerting voice nonetheless." ( )
  MikeFutcher | Jun 3, 2016 |
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What makes good people do bad things? Where is the line separating good from evil, and who is in danger of crossing it? Social psychologist Philip Zimbardo explains how--and the myriad reasons why--we are all susceptible to the lure of "the dark side." Drawing on examples from history as well as his own research, Zimbardo details how situational forces and group dynamics can work in concert to make monsters out of decent people. By illuminating the psychological causes behind such disturbing metamorphoses, Zimbardo enables us to better understand a variety of phenomena, from corporate malfeasance to organized genocide. He replaces the long-held notion of the "bad apple" with that of the "bad barrel"--the idea that the social setting and the system contaminate the individual, rather than the other way around. Yet we are capable of resisting evil, he argues, and can even teach ourselves to act heroically.--From publisher description.Includes information on Abu Ghraib Prison, Achilles as archetypal war hero, administrative evil, Afghanistan, anonymity, Army Reserve Military Police (MPs), Britain, Bush administration, bystander intervention, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Dick Cheney, conformity, corporations, U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), dehumanization, deindividuation, doctors, Lynndie England, evil, Ivan (Chip) Frederick, II, genocide, good, Charles Graner, Guantanamo Bay Prison, heroism, Adolf Hitler, Holocaust, human nature, Saddam Hussein, identity, inaction as force for evil, International Committee of the Red Cross, Iraq, Iraq War, Katrina hurricane disaster as crisis of inaction, persuasive uses of language, Lord of the Flies (Golding), lynchings, Military Intelligence (MI), moral disengagement, My Lai massacre, national security, U.S. Navy, Nazis, New York City, 1984 (Orwell), obedience to authority, otherness, Pentagon, Peopleʾs Temple cult, personal responsibility, power systems, prejudice, prisons, rape, role playing, rules, Donald Rumsfeld, situational forces, sleep deprivation, social approval, social influence, social psychology, Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) http://www.prisonexperiment.org, Taguba Report, torture, transformation of character, Vietnam War, violence, war, war on terror, whistle-blowers, women, World War II, etc.

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