The Situationist

Archive for April 19th, 2007

The Lucifer Effect Lecture at Harvard Law School

Posted by The Situationist Staff on April 19, 2007


Renowned scholar, writer, speaker and Situationist Contributor Dr. Phil Zimbardo, spoke at Harvard Law School on April 3, 2007. An unedited version of his talk is now available on the Project on Law and Mind Sciences Website, and can be accessed by clicking here. (For an article about his Harvard Law talk, click here.)

Professor Zimbardo’s lecture, like the book it was based on (The Lucifer Effect), takes its audience on a journey through the psychological processes of character transformation that are engaged when ordinary, good people turn into perpetrators of evil. The abuses and tortures of Abu Ghraib prison serve as the case study for understanding such horrors not as the work of a “few bad apples,” but rather as the consequence of a set of identifiable Situational variables and Systemic forces – “the bad barrel” and “the bad barrel makers.”

The two-hour video includes an 18 minute introduction, which can be skipped by dragging the “clip position” button the right by that amount.  (This summer, the Project on Law and Mind Sciences hopes to offer an edited version of the lecture, which will include several camera angles and clearer images.)

For a helpful summary of Phil Zimbardo’s recent “whirlwind” travels and interviews, go to the terrific blog, Psychology and Crime News.  For a look at what he is up to this week in London, visit his Lucifer Effect Website, which includes a page devoted to his interview and lecture schedule.  Finally, for an article published yesterday by BBC News, about Professor Zimbardo’s work, click here.

Posted in Public Policy, Social Psychology | 1 Comment »

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