Psychology of Evil Discussion Paper



Psychology of Evil

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Psychology of Evil

Q1. What is the main idea of this video by Zombardo?

Zombardo’s main idea in the video illustrates how evil works. He says that people believe in the mark between the good and evil is visible –“by them on the one side, the others always evil” (Zimbardo, 2008). Zombardo show that this phrase is far more penetrably – the good people can be harmful, and the evil people can be converted. He, for example, illustrated the relationship between God and His favourite angel Lucifer. Lucifer disobeyed God, thrown out of heaven, and that’s how the force of evil in the universe begin. Ironically, it is the God who created hell as a place to store the evil.

Q2. What is the link between the above video and the topic of corrections?

The topic of corrections illustrates an isolated environment where people are held unwillingly, for an extended period and not for their welfare. Zombardo describes evil as having the power to hurt deliberately, harm, destroy and commit crime contrary to humankind. He says that he was part of the US army trial soldier suspected of evil behaviour in the Iraq war, who humiliated and tortured inmates. He became a proficient observer to stand for one of the guards and was allowed to access the photos, reports and protect himself. He says that the suspected men were soldiers holding the inmates in the coercion hold – to get information after interrogating them later.

Q3. According to Zombardo, how does one become a “bad apple” as he puts it?

He says that their accusers referred to them as Bad Apple. It is a dispositional explanation that blames people for their wrongdoing, and it looks at what is inside the person. However, Zimbardo being a psychologist, he said that it is essential to conclude that the criminals at Abu Ghraib and inmates in Iraq did not go in there with cruelty, and it is not a part of their existence, they were not tortures and serial murderers.

Q4. Is anyone susceptible to turning “evil” according to Zombardo?

Everyone is vulnerable to turning into evil, according to Zombardo. He says that several people are vulnerable situational forces when in a different environment where the usual system of behaviour is not applicable. He provided several lessons on how a situation can nurture evil. For instance, he provides individuals with a philosophy that substantiate beliefs for behaviour, makes people grow gradually towards harmful behaviour, gives people with ever-changing and ambiguous rules, relabels the condition’s actors to legitimize the philosophy.

Q5. How does one stay clear of the wrong path in careers of high discretion?

Careers of discretion refer to a specific range of levels that a worker can take regarding their job. Meanwhile, an organizational problem arises due to the employee being utility maximizes hence choosing the least possible level. Therefore, one stay clear by being obedience to the authority and act according to owns judgement – freedom of choice and judgement.

Q6. Can a person redeem themselves once having gone down the “evil” path, according to this video by Zombardo?

A person can redeem themselves after going down the evil path. He says that he needs people to make his mission into an international and national movement that will have an essential impact to transform the world into a better one. He focuses on training an individual on how to become heroes. It can also be done by educating how to be bold, face people, speak your mind and taking an effective and wise act in challenging circumstances faced daily at work, at home, in the community, and the nation. He further invites funders and sponsors who believe in working together and accomplish the same mission.


Zimbardo, P. (2008). The psychology of evil [Video]. Retrieved 27 October 2020, from








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