Why not everyone is a torturer By Stephen Reicher and Alex Haslam Psychologists Guards and prisoners, taking part in The Experiment for the BBC in So groups of people in positions of unaccountable power naturally resort to violence, do they?
Whether groups of people bestowed with unaccountable power naturally resort to violence or not, the subject is indeed controversial. Arguably, the less restrictions that one must follow, the higher the risk becomes of one to condone violence.
However, how can we explain war crimes and acts of torture? Is the most decisive factor leadership, group behavior, or culture? In addition to this discussion, Philip G.
Nearly everyone has the capacity to commit acts of evil, given the right conditions, but what keeps a minority of people in check even under extremely stressful circumstances is their learned sense of morality and ability to distinguish right from wrong.
People dissociate themselves from perpetrators of evil acts due to the claim that those perpetrators are monsters with disturbed minds. One of the main statements in the article is that this mistaken notion has been rebutted by a series of major studies including the Stanford Prison Experiment.
This study confirmed that even well-adjusted people, when divided into groups with contrasting powers could become abusive and violent. Although every human shares the capacity to behave in evil ways, there is a variation of factors that endorses them to do so. One of the main factors is whether a given instruction is overtly or tacitly endorsed, which also explains the different outcomes of the BBC and the Stanford study.
Moreover, the article underlines how groups can affect the behavior of every individual and make them do things that they would normally abhor. Clearly the purpose of this article is to illustrate the manifestation of torturous activities by giving clear examples of how this behavior becomes accepted and praised.
The scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison and even in the Stanford Study shows a direct connection to power and criminal behavior.
The object is not to quantify that this behavior simply happens once bad influencers are given power. Rather, existing conditions ignite feelings of purpose for the torture.
The goal is to explore on many levels how this behavior can apparently be so easily adopted within a group structure.
Apparently, criminal behavior resulting in torture of others is not only an individual trait, but also something that can evolve within someone who normally would be resistant to such an activity, given the right conditions.
Author Stephen Reicher has set out to convince the reader that given some sort of competition, groups can become abusive. Reicher makes a claim that previous theories of torturous behavior are misleading or even false. He goes on to give evidence supporting his claims of why, in fact, torturous behavior is exhibited amongst certain groups of power.
The author uses symbolism to represent his ideas, thus giving examples.
Furthermore, he describes the internal and external conflict that can exist in these situations. Internal conflict is described as someone who is conflicted about their behavior but continues in a negative way with the intention of getting labeled as a good follower.
External conflict is used to describe how the torturer behaves in comparison to societal norms. The sentences within the article follow a basic sentence structure and are organized differently throughout the entire article.
Furthermore, they are manipulated in a way that adds life and drama to the piece. The article is cohesive; references and examples complement each other to create a profound reading experience. The pictures in the web article enhance the articles presentation by illustrating and clarifying the contentment of the text.
The tone is set in the beginning and remains consistent throughout the article. Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS-lieutenant known to be one of the brains behind the horrifying Holocaust was, in the eyes of Hannah Arendt, frighteningly ordinary. He had no signs of psychological damage, nor did he show any signs of anti-Semitism during his trial.
The difference between Zimbardo and the BBC project shows us that under certain circumstances some might lose their moral compass. The mentioned circumstances can allow authorities and people in leadership positions to take advantage of some people, thereby negating their moral standards.
Noteworthy is that the studies did not confirm all humans could be manipulated or unintentionally swayed by leaders and groups, but that some would, and as noted above, the result for humanity can be catastrophic. There is ample evidence of the fact that bad leadership can influence people into crossing their moral standards.
Leadership can influence people to believe that they will not be held to account for what they do, and even sometimes encourage them with a notion of praiseworthiness. Demands from bad leadership can evolve a mundane individual like Adolf Eichmann into a notorious architect of mass extinction.
Therefore, the article reminds us, that it is crucial to ensure that people are aware of moral commitments and accountability to others for their actions. If the language is degrading and dehumanizing it can contribute to create conditions of disrespect, at first, and can then eventually be followed by crimes, torture and even war crimes.Psychologists Stephen Reicher and Alex Haslam assess this exact debate in the article “Why Not Everyone Is A Torturer”, and thus attempt to show more content Thus, the promotion of bad values and abhorrent beliefs from leaders and institutions may trigger the deviation of norms and values.
Why Not Everyone Is A Torturer - Oliver Behrensdorff What are the causes of atrocity events such as the massacre at My Lai, the abuse and torture of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib or the extermination of Jews during World War II?
Why not everyone is a torturer Write an essay ( words) in which you analyse and comment on the article "Why not everyone is a torturer" by Stephen Reicher and Alex Haslam. “ Why not everyone becomes a torturer ” is an article written by Stephen Reicher and Alex Haslam, Not according to research conducted in a BBC experiment.
The photographs from Abu Ghraib prison showing Americans abusing Iraqi prisoners make us recoil and lead us to distance ourselves from their horror and brutality.
Why not everyone is a torturer Stephen Reicher and Alex Haslam Pre-reading 1. Discuss whether you think the following statements are true or false. T F I could never under any circumstances torture another human being.
The people who torture others are mentally sick. If I was in a group which accepted torture, I would accept it as well. Mar 25, · Why not everyone is a tortu Write an essay ( words) in which you analyse and comment on the article "Why not everyone is a torturer" by Stephen Reicher and Alex Haslam.
“Why not everyone becomes a torturer” is an article written by Stephen Reicher and Alex Haslam,