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THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT What makes the person turn evil.

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 07:41 PM

the THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT is a study to show that normal person will become evil.

this describes one message in the experiment
So what, if anything, can we do to decrease the likelihood of power leading to bad behavior?
One interesting reversal to the finding that power amplifies the person is that when people in positions of power are given explicit and salient goals, the situation becomes much more important, and can override people's innate dispositions.* Perhaps we can refocus people's tendencies in a positive direction by providing them with clear prosocial goals.
This suggestion acknowledges the fact that no one is all good or all bad; all of us have many sides. Even people who abuse power most certainly have other, more prosocial sides that may be unexplored. We must ask ourselves which side we most want to bring out of a person. Zimbardo's experiment shines a light on the bad, but I could imagine an equally persuasive study designed in such a way to show the incredible potential for good in just about anyone when given power with prosocial goals.
Another way to bring out more positive outcomes is to simply put more people with prosocial dispositions (e.g., high empathy and compassion) in positions of power and let them carry out their already existing prosocial goals (e.g., desire to reduce violence, feed the hungry, etc.).
There are so many humane people in this world. In fact, most people are humane. Let's not let the minority who abuse power make us forget this fact. I think the media as well as psychologists could do a lot more to highlight the more uplifting and hopeful segments of humanity. As Jimmy Carter once said, "What are the things that you can't see that are important? I would say justice, truth, humility, service, compassion, love. You can't see any of those, but they're the guiding lights of a life."
Recognizing that power is not inherently good or bad, we can try to stack the deck as much as possible to harness the incredible power of power. As Galinsky and colleagues so eloquently put it,

Power Reduces the Press of the Situation:Implications for Creativity, Conformity, and Dissonance
From Power to Action.

This has bee well known and to ACC staff.
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