The Lucifer Effect Essay

Words: 921
Pages: 4

Devil within

Sometimes we wonder why people do things. Is it because they were forced to? Maybe they were pressured into it, or maybe they thought it was the right thing to do. In the book The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo he studies the psychological motives of humans and situational personalities. Zimbardo produced an experiment called the “Stanford prison experiment” which put one group of students as guards and another as the prisoners. The main point of the experiment was to watch the prisoners and see how they reacted to being detained; however, when the experiment was conducted it was the guards who were more interesting to study. When looking at the students who were selected to be guards they were no different from
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As the superintendent of the prison he oversaw everything and did not stop any of it. It took someone on the outside to realize that this experiment was cruel and they should not be doing this to these boys. When Zimbardo heard this he realized it was cruel and he had to put an end to the experiment. This is similar to the Holocaust. Everything that was going on in the prison was against human morality and yet it still happened. Just like the Holocaust, people knew that the innocent killing of millions was wrong but no one did anything until someone on the outside realized it. How long was Zimbardo willing to go with his experiment? If no one said anything to him about it those boys could have been harmed forever. However, the Holocaust did go too far and then some. Those who survived will never forget and are ever haunted by that horrible event. An evil dictator was able to blind the people of Germany and then kill millions of innocent people whose only crime was their religion. The experiment made Zimbardo realize a lot of things. It is easy to fall for the situation of an event. The students who became guards were no different from those who became prisoners and yet they acted so differently from one another. Those who became guards tried to mentally break down those who were prisoners by any means necessary. It just shows that when people are put in certain situations they act differently. Character is not created in tough times, it is