Phillip Zimbardo: The Lucifer Effect

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Phillip Zimbardo developed the ideology of the “Lucifer effect” by producing an experiment that tested individuals’ behavior patterns as they switched roles in Stanford County prison. In this study, Zimbardo proved the negative face of humanistic ways by showing how influencing someone’s outlook on a specific role that they were given, can alter the overall behavior that they produce as a result. Zimbardo’s comment correlates to Arendt’s “Banality of Evil” because it is relative to Arendt’s mindset upon the Nazi soldiers and where they stood individually, it points out the aspects of how manipulation of the human mind can be easily accomplished with just direct orders from a higher authority, and also the diffusion of responsibility that is…show more content…
Zimbardo’s comment points out the characteristics of how manipulation of the human mind can be easily accomplished with just direct orders from a higher authority. For example, in the Nazi Germany situation, who really carried out the majority of the devastating acts? Was it Hitler himself? Or was it the thousands of Nazi soldiers that obeyed Hitler’s orders? Not that these questions stand what happened as justified, but who was the bigger player in taking account for what happened? In Phillip Zimbardo’s prison experiment, individuals can see how there are two personas that seem to be identified when the situation is really broken down; the ultimate drive that causes the individual to perform certain actions or tasks, as well as if the individual is actually doing said action themselves, or if it is just their subconscious that aids in the action of these tasks. According to Saul McLeod, he believes that people will easily adapt to the social roles they are expected to perform, and this will happen especially when the roles that have been assigned are easily stereotyped (McLeod, 2008). In the Zimbardo experiment, the individuals that were given the role of a prison guard had the tendency to become more evil over time, a behavior that was necessitated due to the environment that they were surrounded by, as well as trying to fulfill the “roles” that they were assigned. The same patterns went for the prisoners in the experiment. As time elongated, they eventually adapted to their roles that they were given, the experimental prisoners actually acting like prisoners, and sometimes even taking their own part that they played a little too

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