When good people do bad things

Is it possible for a really good person to turn evil? Do you think you have an inner demon that could be triggered to make you rob a bank, steal from a neighbor or torture another human being?

Dr. Phillip Zimbardo, professor emeritus at Stanford University and author of The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, has performed some of the most groundbreaking experiments in the history of psychology.

Dr. Zimbardo is the featured guest on Dr. Phil today. Find out what happens when several audience members are put to the test! Will they blindly follow instructions from an actor who looks like an authority figure? And, find out how the horrific abuses discovered in 2004 at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq mimic the results from Dr. Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment in the 1970s. See the surprising parallel that demonstrates just how easily a good person can be drawn to the dark side.

In an interview with cult expert Steve Hassan, Zimbardo — author of this remarkably lucid article on cults — specifically refutes cult propagandists‘ claims that “there is no such thing as mind control” and talks about specific techniques such as deception, manipulation, authority iinfluence, group influence and control of Behavior, Information, Thought and Emotions.

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This post was last updated: Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 3:38 PM, Central European Time (CET)