Zimbardo Good Vs Evil Essay

731 Words3 Pages
The book addresses, as evident by its title, how good people turn evil, but it goes beyond this simple statement. Further than just turning evil, Zimbardo suggests the line between good and evil is more blurred than many believe, and that good people do not necessarily fully become evil, but rather often perform evil deeds when their situation so allows. The major example given in the book of how people become evil, is Zimbardo’s own infamous Stanford Prison Experiment. He uses this to demonstrate many of the underlying causes which cause a person to do things they usually would not. His main argument throughout the text is that unlikely evil is almost always situational, not inherent or genetic. He emphasizes the effect that pressure and authority can have…show more content…
Authority does not have to be an actual figure, but rather can be a set of rules or an institution. It plays a pivotal role in the decisions and influence of the general public. Zimbardo makes it clear how dangerous authority can be, because many people choose to blindly follow instructions regardless of whether or not their morals line up. It is described in depth as an almost brainwashing like phenomenon, where those under authority feel somewhat of an obligation to obey, simply because of their position. While this alone is interesting, an even more intriguing topic discussed in the book is the fact that not only do those under authority feel obligated to comply with their leader’s ideas and suggestions, but if the authority figures change from good to evil, their follows will most likely change as well. A pure example of the role of authority over decision making is shown in the Stanford Prison Experiment, as discussed in the book. Zimbardo once again offers an in depth look at his experiment and how it completely changed seemingly normal people into horrible monsters. In the Stanford Prison
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