Skip to main content.

Back to: >> Browse Highlights

Peace-relevant insight from this experiment.

Updated 09 Sept 2013

A mere “egg shell” separates our peaceful and violent behaviors. This feature erupts when certain conditions are ripe. Violence is the usual result whether domestic or international terrorism, war and genocide. Terrorism within one's own society is its ultimate expression.

This is more bitter medicine. Abu Ghraib conditions were a faithful template of the Stanford Prison Experiment. The Rwandan genocide followed the same template. The most arresting and dangerous result of the Stanford Prison Experiment is that:

Mock prison conditions imposed during the Stanford Prison Experiment were sufficient to turn ordinary college kids effectively into SOCIOPATHS overnight! Our psyches are indeed in delicate balance.

But even a result that puts such a bad light on humanity has a sliver lining. Not a literal silver lining, but its counterpart: knowledge--knowledge of self, you and me, our friends and neighbors, people we love or hate. Without knowledge of self we are doomed sooner or later to follow a mad person off the precipice. For the sad truth is too few of us have the internal fortitude to oppose the system.

We simply must release our collective egos from the clutches of dogma, the dogma of naivete, or simple ignorance.

Link to: Stanford Prison Experiment

Index Start Back Next