post

The psychology of evil | Philip Zimbardo



Philip Zimbardo knows how easy it is for nice people to turn bad. In this talk, he shares insights and graphic unseen photos from the Abu Ghraib trials. Then he talks about the flip side: how easy it is to be a hero, and how we can rise to the challenge.

Follow us on Twitter

Checkout our Facebook page for TED exclusives

#psychology #evil #Philip #Zimbardo

Some Toughts (49)

  1. Avatar
    added on 12 Feb, 2011
    Reply

    @eldadevata It develops early and its expressed at a later stage, when that particular individual, due to its “achievements” and “ambition” reaches a position of power. I find the idea of power corrupting “good” people horribly unrealistic, and anchored in a religious/irrational view of life. A far more plausible explanation, is indeed that this characteristic(evil) is developed early in life, largely due to genetics and partially due to environmental effect.

  2. Avatar
    added on 12 Feb, 2011
    Reply

    @eldadevata The fact that this level of cruelty and sadism, (which actually is not far away from that of an everyday soldier that is prepared to kill its “enemy” at any given time) is caused most probably by genetic programming, doesn’t mean that the responsibility of the society is obsolete. We are responsible for finding out, what causes this obvious disease and cure/prevent it. The minimum thing is to expose it and lock them up as to protect the rest of us.

  3. Avatar
    added on 1 Mar, 2011
    Reply

    wow he is talking fast…TED should have gave him an xtra 10 mins just so he could be comfortable and get it all out…I THINK..Zimbardo deserves it….

  4. Avatar
    added on 2 Mar, 2011
    Reply

    i looked at this 3 times..still see devils..wtf

  5. Avatar
    added on 7 Mar, 2011
    Reply

    I think there is a lot of misunderstanding of Phil Zimbardo's thesis .He is not denying 'evil' impulses in anyone – or heroic either – he is explaining that they are not exclusive….It is very comforting for us to think we are 'good' people and these others are 'bad ' people – the fact is there are just people – and what transforms you is the siutation. This can begin early in life, upbringing is situational.., there may be genetic factors – but ultimately evil needs a fertile soil to grow..

  6. Avatar
    added on 7 Mar, 2011
    Reply

    @georgiegirlize can i use ur comment on my fb?….very interesting….i will credit you

  7. Avatar
    added on 7 Mar, 2011
    Reply

    @georgiegirlize can i use ur comment on my fb?….very interesting….i will credit you

  8. Avatar
    added on 7 Mar, 2011
    Reply

    @awuahnsiah Hi, No problem, feel free!

  9. Avatar
    added on 8 Mar, 2011
    Reply

    @georgiegirlize thanks

  10. Avatar
    added on 9 Mar, 2011
    Reply

    This is exactly what happens all the time in schools and work places… this is exactly how bullying works.

  11. Avatar
    added on 9 Mar, 2011
    Reply

    Great video! Applaud.

  12. Avatar
    added on 27 Mar, 2011
    Reply

    Interesting, but not groundbreaking, Notice, all of the really amazed,people are psych 101 class members. Evil is not only rampant, it is omnipresent; it is through a balance of good or evil (not and, because some of us choose one over the other) that true happiness is achieved. If we didn't have bad days, we wouldn't notice the good ones; without monstrous evil, we cannot recognize sublime good.

  13. Avatar
    added on 31 Mar, 2011
    Reply

    @sbhattacherya I do not believe what you said is the least bit true. When rounding a mountain top looking out over an amazing scenic view, we are able to marvel at its splendor…even without having previously viewed any ugliness. I have heard the logic you repeated over and over throughout my life, and can say categorically that we ARE able to appreciate beauty, goodness, and truth on their own terms. Evil is not necessary in this world. I refuse to NEED it, or to justify its existence.

  14. Avatar
    added on 1 Apr, 2011
    Reply

    Excellent.
    Like – Comment & Subscribe! 😉

  15. Avatar
    added on 7 Apr, 2011
    Reply

    @trufiend138 Focus on the white spce.

  16. Avatar
    added on 9 Apr, 2011
    Reply

    @florydory A man who scores 10, 20 and 30 on a test would be appreciative of a 60. A man who scores 70, 80, and 90 on a test would view 60 as terrible.
    You only can view things based on past experiences, and without a "lower" experience, you would have no reason to view something as "beautiful" or a "higher" experience, because you've had nothing lesser to compare it to.
    If every single hill on this planet was an "amazing scenic view", you would not think it so amazing.

  17. Avatar
    added on 10 Apr, 2011
    Reply

    @veget00tegev >if every single hill on this planet was an "amazing scenic view" you would not think it so amazing<

    I don't agree. Maslow observed people of note whom he considered to be "self actualized" (content, successful and self determining). He marveled that this group never seemed to tire of life, and had “the capacity to appreciate the sunrise or sunset or nature again and again.” The habit of comparing experiences then ranking them in the order of appreciation they deserve is learned

  18. Avatar
    added on 20 Apr, 2011
    Reply

    @Texemosis 57 EVIL people gave a thumbs down

  19. Avatar
    added on 20 Apr, 2011
    Reply

    @ 20:14 GOOD WINS OVER EVIL (-:

  20. Avatar
    added on 25 Apr, 2011
    Reply

    i saw the demons before the angels too. does that mean i look for evil first? or i am to quick to see the evil or blinded by it that i dont see the good in people first?

  21. Avatar
    added on 27 Apr, 2011
    Reply

    The dude looks pregnant.

  22. Avatar
    added on 29 Apr, 2011
    Reply

    fail for very sneakily equating drugs with evil.

  23. Avatar
    added on 30 Apr, 2011
    Reply

    @thodal2000 can you give me the time in the video?

  24. Avatar
    added on 30 Apr, 2011
    Reply

    The part where he describes his friends in a Dr. Jekyll /Mr. Hyde scenario and proceeds to relate their drug use as evidence of Jekyll/Hyde.
    @:30

  25. Avatar
    added on 30 Apr, 2011
    Reply

    @qttytn The part where he describes his friends in a Dr. Jekyll /Mr. Hyde scenario and proceeds to relate their drug use as evidence of Jekyll/Hyde.
    @:30

  26. Avatar
    added on 1 May, 2011
    Reply

    @thodal2000 My interpretation is that he was tying in drugs as a symptom of greater social problems in that community, rather than demonising the act of drug use itself

  27. Avatar
    added on 8 May, 2011
    Reply

    I can't stop seeing the demons…
    I can't see the angels

  28. Avatar
    added on 9 May, 2011
    Reply

    Power is the key word here. When I researched this atrocity, I found out that England was being abused by her boyfriend. Putting people into a situation like this is going to end badly, because of a thirst for power.

  29. Avatar
    added on 14 May, 2011
    Reply

    The statistical rise in “evil” acts when anonymity is introduced is very interesting to me. During the protests of the G20 in Pittsburgh, most of the police were not wearing name tags or badges. Many of them were wearing helmets which covered their faces. There are many YouTube videos of those police beating and abusing innocent protesters.

  30. Avatar
    added on 22 May, 2011
    Reply

    this is super important. I would love to talk negatively after this and talk about all the "righteous people" and "normal people" to blame. But I will go only this far. If any of you want things different, you have to, like Zimbardo said, not be afraid to act out.
    That takes time to learn. Our human instinct is to not stick out, follow what everyone is doing. Evil spreads that way. It's ok if it doesn't work out at first… learn, and break the cycle. I hope everyone can do that.

  31. Avatar
    added on 1 Jun, 2011
    Reply

    LOL. Ding! Ding! Ding!

  32. Avatar
    added on 3 Jun, 2011
    Reply

    he married her the next year hahahahahahahahahahahaha

  33. Avatar
    added on 6 Jun, 2011
    Reply

    HEH

    Everyone needs to see this. Very well presented. Its funny because I just had a hour debate with my sis about this very topic. To say the least she falls into the "passive" state.

  34. Avatar
    added on 11 Jun, 2011
    Reply

    TED… I have to sleep…

  35. Avatar
    added on 21 Jun, 2011
    Reply

    When I saw the picture at 1:23 I immediately saw the world of demons, and even after he mentioned there were angels, I had trouble noticing them… I hope this isn't a sign of any underlying psychological issues.

  36. Avatar
    added on 28 Jun, 2011
    Reply

    Gangstalkers = COINTELPRO perps = US prison abusers = real subjects of Milgram (obedience) experiment
    世界一 病んだ変態 ナチスアメリカ

  37. Avatar
    added on 2 Jul, 2011
    Reply

    He doesn't look 75

  38. Avatar
    added on 7 Jul, 2011
    Reply

    and i married her the next year hahaha!

  39. Avatar
    added on 8 Jul, 2011
    Reply

    man he brings up great points

  40. Avatar
    added on 11 Jul, 2011
    Reply

    evil can also be defined as the absence of good

  41. Avatar
    added on 14 Jul, 2011
    Reply

    I don't believe in good or evil is just people perception of whats what. I bought Philips book great book but i still don't believe in good nor evil its still on peoles perception

  42. Avatar
    added on 14 Jul, 2011
    Reply

    @inhisgrace007 Amen to that.

  43. Avatar
    added on 15 Jul, 2011
    Reply

    Often.

  44. Avatar
    added on 15 Jul, 2011
    Reply

    I meant it often happens from my experience as a follower of Christ is people become Christian because they did bad things and after becoming Christians they look for every opportunity to help others and sacrifice their time an self

  45. Avatar
    added on 19 Jul, 2011
    Reply

    Wonder what this guy's take on sociopaths is? And yes, they are born with the frontal lobe defect that makes them "evil".

  46. Avatar
    added on 22 Jul, 2011
    Reply

    zimbardo unraveled the psychology of morality – thank you

  47. Avatar
    added on 23 Jul, 2011
    Reply

    M.C: Escher was dutch, not swiss.

  48. Avatar
    added on 29 Jul, 2011
    Reply

    That guy's breathing is killing me. I'm going to need him to take care of himself 🙁 Brilliant work though.

  49. Avatar
    added on 2 Aug, 2011
    Reply

    He managed to fit a semester's worth of material in to 23 minutes. Crazy. Loved his passion. He touched on so many good points. Excellent speech!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.