The Situationist

The Situation of Violence

Posted by The Situationist Staff on December 2, 2009

From BBC’s Horizon:

What makes ordinary people commit extreme acts of violence?

In a thought-provoking and disturbing journey, Michael Portillo investigates one of the darker sides of human nature. He discovers what it is like to inflict pain and is driven to the edge of violence himself in an extreme sleep deprivation study.

He meets men for whom violence has become an addiction and ultimately discovers that each of us could be inherently more violent than we think, and watches a replication of one of the most controversial studies in history, the Milgram study. Will study participants be willing to administer a seemingly lethal electric shock to someone they think is an innocent bystander?

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For a sample of related Situationist posts about the situation of violence, see “The Situation of Soldiers,” Our Soldiers, Their Children: The Lasting Impact of the War in Iraq,” “The Situation of a “Volunteer” Army,” “From Heavens to Hells to Heroes – Part I,” “Looking for the Evil Actor,”

To review some previous posts discussing the Milgram obedience experiment, see “Replicating Milgram’s Obedience Experiment – Yet Again,” “Jonestown (The Situation of Evil) Revisited,” Milgram Remake,” The Milgram Experiment Today?.” Gender Conformity,”The Case for Obedience,” A Shocking Situation,” “Zimbardo on Milgram and Obedience – Part I,”  “The Case for Obedience,” and Virtual Worlds, Learning, and Virtual Milgram.”

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