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The Psychology of Evil

Monday, November 1, 2004 Posted: 03:44 PM JST

If the killing of Shosei Koda and other innocent people like him, and the events at Abu Ghraib trouble you as much as it does me, Aaran Swartz has an excellent article on his blog that describes research that has been done on the origin of evil. He describes the well-known experiments by Philip Zimbardo and Stanley Milgram. Zimbardo is famous for the Stanford Prison Experiment, Milgram for his now classic experiments on obedience to authority. There are no new revelations on the blog, but it is helpful to see all the relevant information organized in one place. Recommended reading in these troubling times.

Recommended books:

Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing by James Waller

Understanding Genocide: The Social Psychology of the Holocaust by Leonard S. Newman, Ralph Erber

Obedience to Authority by Stanley Milgram

The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram by Thomas Blass

Keywords: cool_sites book_news

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The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
Stone Bridge Press

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