Escape Artists



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Author Topic: The Lucifer Effect  (Read 1975 times)


  • Peltast
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
on: May 29, 2007, 04:13:22 PM
In his new book "The Lucifer Effect" ( )
noted social psychologist Philip Zimbardo summarizes his experiences as an expert witness at the Abu Ghraib Trials.

He writes:

"Aberrant, illegal, or immoral behavior by individuals in the service professions, such as policemen, corrections officers, and soldiers is typically labeled the misdeeds of "a few bad apples". The implication is that they are a rare exception, and must be set on one side of the impermeable line between evil and good, with the majority of the good apples set on the other side. But who is making the distinction? Usually it is the guardians of the system, who want to isolate the problem in order to deflect attention and blame away from those at the top, who may be responsible for creating untenable working conditions or for a lack of oversight or supervision. Again the bad apple (dispositional) view ignores the apple barrel and it's potentially corrupting situational impact on those within it. A systems analysis focuses on the barrel makers, on those with the power to design the barrel."

As an extension of his book, the supporting website puts the "Barrel-makers" on trial for Abu Ghraib: