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11 May 2004

The sickening predictability of our capacity for evil

A really excellent editorial in The Seattle Times posits that what happened at Abu Ghraib is exactly what any competent psychologist would have predicted to happen. Several well-known experiments, including the infamous prison experiment which was eerily repeated in a failed reality TV show about the infamous prison experiment, have all shown that normal, decent, stable people will become able to perform acts of evil that they themselves would not have thought possible, when put in a stressful situation, under an imagined or believed-in authority, in an environment where individuality and dissent are suppressed. Thanks to WWWofFB for this link.

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