Philip Zimbardo's Night: The Psychology Of Evil

2148 Words9 Pages
Night: The Psychology of Evil
“The line between good and evil is permeable and almost anyone can be induced to cross it when pressured by situational forces,” said Philip Zimbardo after his 1971 Stanford mock trial prison experiment. Throughout the Zimbardo experiment, Zimbardo defined many terms such as dehumanization and deindividuation. Like Zimbardo, Eliezer, a young Jew from 1944 who was deported to multiple concentration camps and also wrote the novel Night, faced copious German militants who abused their power by dehumanizing their fellow humans by taking away essential items for human life such as food, drink, and freedom. Through the countless number of years that humanity has existed, victimizers who have been given power over others have chosen to abuse their fellow humans and make them victims of their rule. To study how power affects human nature, various psychological studies have been conducted to explain such behavior. The most notable study was done by Philip Zimbardo from Stanford University in 1971, where he created a mock trial prison with a homogenous group of students to show how the oppressors will treat the oppressed when given the power (Zimbardo). The way oppressors have treated the oppressed throughout history with the abuse of power has caused abhorrent agony for the oppressed, such as the Nazi Holocaust in World War Two. Zimbardo’s research
…show more content…
None of the Jews knew who the officers were, and none of the officers knew who the Jews were. This allowed for the complete and total anonymity. Because of this anonymity, it was so easy for the officers to beat another human because the officers simply could not be caught because everything was anonymous. In later years, the Zimbardo experiment would should when a higher authority orders someone to do a task, most people will end up completing that task, regardless of how sadistic or harmful it may
Open Document