The Effect Of Philip Zimbardo 's ' The Lucifer Effect ' Essay

The Effect Of Philip Zimbardo 's ' The Lucifer Effect ' Essay

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In The Lucifer Effect, Philip Zimbardo, a psychologist known for his construction of the infamous Stanford Prison experiment, defines the role of the bystander and the evil associated with this specific figure. He examines upon this notion in Chapter 13, when he states, “In situations where evil is practiced, there are perpetrators, victims, and survivors. However, there are often observers of the ongoing activities or people who know what is going on and do not intervene to help or to challenge the evil and thereby enable evil to persist by their inaction” (Zimbardo). In accordance to his view, violence consists of three main groups: those who commit the evil, those who are a victim of the evil, and those who are able to survive against such evil. In particular, he mentions another group that is not directly affected by the evil, but still see such atrocities, and chooses to do nothing to stop it. From this, he concludes that bystanders should be considered another form of evil as their actions only encourage the existence of evil. Resultantly, Zimbardo further examines the bystander effect, and the reasons why so many individuals choose not to confront evil. Once more in Chapter 13, he states, “The more people present who might help in an emergent situation, the more we assume that someone else will step forward, so we do not have to become energized to take any personal risk” (Zimbardo). According to Zimbardo, the role of the bystander is due to the combination of social normality, a lack of personal interest, and individual selfishness. Individuals are not inclined to take the initiative to stop a harmful action because they believe someone else will step in first. Quite frankly, many hope to not interact with evil because th...

... middle of paper ... 372). From the above, Calder explicates on the active and passive nature of evil. In particular, Hilter should be considered of a greater evil because he played an active role throughout the Holocaust. He held a personal belief that his actions could have been somehow justifiable, and did everything in his power to lead and continue the genocide. On the other hand, there is Eichmann, someone who did not necessarily agree with such atrocities, but still choose to turn a blind eye, and did nothing to stop such crimes. In a similar way, Eichmann’s actions can be compared to that of a bystander. While he may not have played an active role, he choose to take an passive role, and did nothing to cease the acts of evil. Eichmann, himself, is guilty of his passiveness and an unwillingness to reflect on how his actions could have impacted the well being of so many people.

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