Would you electrocute a puppy if someone asked you to? How about if you were a soldier during the Nazi regime, would you have followed orders and executed innocent bystanders? Whilst these questions may sound unusual— and frankly, a little odd — they serve a purpose in demonstrating how most individuals perceive the causes of evil behaviour.
When asked such questions, people have often confidently answered ‘no’ due to not considering their selves as being evil. However, what people often forget to account for is to the power that situational factors can have on influencing our actions.
Throughout history, notable cases have demonstrated how easy it is for ordinary individuals to be manipulated by their environment into carrying out unspeakable crimes. This talk will be discussing the situational factors that can turn good people evil.
Dr Dara Mojtahedi is a lecturer in psychology at the University of Huddersfield.