Zimbardo: Abu Ghraib, Milgram, Prisoner Experiment (BookTV)

Lucifer cover Again on CSpan-2 Sunday, June 17 at 1:00 am EDT

On BookTV (CSpan-2) Monday, May 21 at 1:30 am The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil

Description: In “The Lucifer Effect” psychologist Philip Zimbardo explains how particular situations and group dynamics can lead normal, moral people to behave in immoral ways. He cites the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib as an example. Mr. Zimbardo draws on the findings of his Stanford Prison Experiment, in which a group of student volunteers were arbitrarily divided into “guards” and “inmates” and then placed in a simulated prison environment.Author Bio: Philip Zimbardo is professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford University. He has also taught at Yale University, New York University, and Columbia University. He is the author of “Shyness” and co-author of “Psychology and Life.” In 2004, he was an expert witness in the court-martial hearings of one of the American army reservists charged with criminal behavior at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

My personal discontents with Zimbardo’s work:

  1. The way he frames US-style psychology as “science”; and
  2. In the case of this line of his work: his tendency to talk/write in terms of human nature & the human psyche, rather than in terms of the social formation of human being.
  3. (also, he doesn’t always remember to mention that the idea of closing down the prisoner experiment occurred to him only when his girlfriend said that if he was somebody who would keep it going, he was not someone that she wanted to know)

Click here for detailed information on the book, and to check your local libraries on WorldCat (with link to the book’s page on amazon.com).


Click here for a rich website at http://lucifereffect.com/. Click here for the C-Span page with information about this event (time/place) and for ordering the video recording.


note: if you would like to know about any rebroadcasts of this program in future weekends, use the RSS feed. See https://curricublog.wordpress.com/2006/09/08/booktv-notification/


One Comment

  1. Posted June 15, 2007 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Again on CSpan-2 Sunday, June 17 at 1:00 am EDT


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