What Makes Good People Do Bad Things Critical Analysis

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The Monitor on Psychology article “What makes good people do bad things?” by Melissa Dittmann analyzes the results of the Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by Stanford psychology professor Phillip Zimbardo in 1971 and discusses what the experiment can tell us about human nature and what causes humans to be evil. In the novel “Lord of the Flies” the author William Golding discusses the effects of the theories mentioned in the article by creating his own fictional experiment with children stranded on an island during a nuclear war. Throughout his novel Golding explores the focus of Dittmann’s article; that environments and situations can bring out the evil that is inside all of us. People can act good or bad depending on their environment, and these actions are not entirely their fault because when people are not held accountable for their actions their more violent natures are revealed. The works of Dittmann and Golding imply that people will be more violent in a survival situations that are difficult to exit because they provide the person with an ideology to justify their actions so that they will not be held accountable. In the article “What makes good people do bad things?” the author states that situations can foster evil by “Providing people with an ideology to justify beliefs for actions”(Dittmann) and by making “exiting the situation difficult”(Dittmann). Golding examines these points in his novel through his character Jack, one of the older boys who fills a

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