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The Lucifer Effect: How Good People Turn Evil


The Lucifer Effect: How Good People Turn Evil

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    Available in PDF Format | The Lucifer Effect: How Good People Turn Evil.pdf | English
    Philip Zimbardo(Author)
In The Lucifer Effect, the award-winning and internationally respected psychologist, Philip Zimbardo, examines how the human mind has the capacity to be infinitely caring or selfish, kind or cruel, creative or destructive. He challenges our conceptions of who we think we are, what we believe we will never do - and how and why almost any of us could be initiated into the ranks of evil doers.

At the same time he describes the safeguards we can put in place to prevent ourselves from corrupting - or being corrupted by - others, and what sets some people apart as heroes and heroines, able to resist powerful pressures to go along with the group, and to refuse to be team players when personal integrity is at stake.

Using the first in-depth analysis of his classic Stanford Prison Experiment, and his personal experiences as an expert witness for one of the Abu Ghraib prison guards, Zimbardo's stimulating and provocative book raises fundamental questions about the nature of good and evil, and how each one of us needs to be vigilant to prevent becoming trapped in the 'Lucifer Effect', no matter what kind of character or morality we believe ourselves to have.

The Lucifer Effect won the William James Book Award in 2008.

"An important book...all politicians and social commentators should read it" (Sunday Times)"Detailed and absorbing...masterly and honest" (Mary Warnock, Times Higher Education Supplement)"Formidable" (Observer)"This important book is very readable" (Spectator)"One of the most distinguished social scientists of our age" (Catholic Herald)

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Book details

  • PDF | 576 pages
  • Philip Zimbardo(Author)
  • Rider (6 Mar. 2008)
  • English
  • 8
  • Health, Family & Lifestyle
Read online or download a free book: The Lucifer Effect: How Good People Turn Evil

Review Text

  • By Judyta Szacillo on 27 January 2013

    It could be an incredibly interesting book had the author been far more concise. The same information, observations and conclusions are repeated over and over again. Nevertheless, the subject of the book is fascinating and worth the effort, because it helps a lot in understanding how human beings work - as individuals and as societies. It also forces you to think more critically about yourself and, at the same time, it makes you aspire to do better. It is a great pity that the narrative is so discouraging.

  • By Georg Strøm on 1 December 2012

    This book provides detailed accounts of the Stanford prison experiments and the abuses committed by US military personnel against prisoners. It is a good book for a student wanting to do a project on one of these. One of the more surprising details is the use of "torture chicks" which shows how far some female military personnel were willing to go, to serve their country. However, the book is printed with small letters, making it difficult for a sustained period, and the analysis is not as good as the accounts. The author has in particular no discussion of personality differences and their impact on whether people behave evil or resist an outside pressure to do so. In other words, he wants mainly to explain what is happening based on situational factors. The author leaves out that people resisting often is the type that in normal situations are considered troublemakers, something that was found among American prisoners of war during the Korean war. He also leaves out the role of selection. The persons commiting evil may appear ordinary, but they may have volunteered or been selected according to criteria that makes them more vulnerable, something that appeared to be the case when personnel were selected to extermination camps in nazi Germany.

  • By Kib on 16 June 2017

    It's interesting, but goes into more depth than I would prefer, so I have found it a hard read.

  • By Guest on 2 February 2017

    I could only read about a couple of chapters of Zimbardo's book; one, yes the text is small and tiring, but two, I was amazed at how similar his approach, style and subject matter is to Jonathan Glover's 'Humanity'. Glover's work tackled the issues of 'evil' by focusing on our use of dehumanisation and use of transferring responsibility to avoid culpability by looking at the Nazi's, Stalin and other war crimes etc. Zimbardo appears to have simply added a section of the abuses at Abu Ghraib to this list. I also find it strange that he made no mention of Glover's work on this subject, although it would have been crucial to any study?

  • By S. Hemraj on 18 July 2017

    I really enjoyed reading this - written in an easy to read format with clear information about the Stanford Prison Experiment distinctly linking this to the Abu Ghraib scandal. Great to read as a standalone for those interested in how institutionalised abuse can occur through many situational factors, but also interesting for those studying psychology with plenty of references for further reading and research.

  • By Mme La Bonne on 29 January 2009

    I was often mystified as to why people behave in such inhumane ways towards each other. Daily reports in the news range from bullying through torture to genocide. Things I think of as unimaginable cruelty are surely the behaviours of maniacs and madmen, right? WRONG!The Lucifer Effect highlights the simple process by which completely healthy, rational people become evil.Zimbardo's experiments show how what we think of as being indefensible becomes not only possible but completely normal. Zimbardo's research describes tendencies in human psychology and reveals the process of how cruelty takes place. If we think that 'We' would never do such things...we are Quite Wrong!The Lucifer Effect describes the process as a gradient; a little inaction here; a little silence there. The process is simple and subtle; all we have to do is collude through silence - say nothing, do nothing, don't rock the boat, ignore our doubts etc.The final chapter talks about Learning to recognise Influences and Resist them. An awareness of how this psychological process takes place is key. If things look, feel or sound bad - Pay Attention - this means things Are Bad. We can learn to pay attention; learn how to put the brakes on and learn how to maintain integrity.

  • By Jess Pagan on 13 July 2017

    A very interesting read on the psychology behind 'evil' people, why people do certain acts. With many theories included, as well as his own famous Stanford Prison Experiment, and simpler daily examples, it's a definitive read on the psychology behind why ordinary people do evil acts.

  • By John Joe on 21 August 2014

    Product Description. I'm returning the paperback version as the print size is way too small. I reckon by the end of 500 pages of such small print I'd need glasses. I hope Rider Books reads this review and takes note. Apologies for 'mis-using' the review platform - I think other buyers should be made aware of the small print size.

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