newdemocracyworld.org/War/Pogo.htm).Reported by John Spritzler, this is what Zimbardo and Milgram found:
The usual points of reference in psychology are two classic studies that attempted to explore the capacity for evil residing in "normal" people. In 1971, Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo created a simulated prison and randomly assigned students to be either guards or prisoners. With astonishing speed, the "guards" indulged in forms of torture and humiliation not unlike those horrifying us today. This followed on earlier experiments by Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram on obedience to authority. Milgram recruited volunteers to participate in what he described as a study on learning. An actor sat in a chair that students believed was wired with electricity. Each time this actor would give an incorrect answer, the students would be directed by Milgram to deliver a larger shock. As the subject in the electric chair seemed to suffer more and more, 2 out of 3 of the unwitting students administered shocks that would have been lethal in real life.
Every soldier? These experiments demonstrate that Everyman is a potential torturer (Spritzler, 2004).
Given Fromm's remarks, the situation, the people involved as young reservists whose leadership was absent and failed to set the proper example for conducting themselves as 1) U.S. Military personnel obligated to follow an oath of ethics and a code of service, and 2) who failed to fulfill their own identity that might have helped these young reservists touch their humanity rather than their inhumanity; and 3) who succumbed to the worst tendencies of evil known to mankind by abusing the very miniscule amount of power granted them over other human beings. Leadership, immaturity, and individual character flaws prevented these people from behaving in a way that was both humane and expected of them.
When people in positions of power, authority, and leadership fail to bring together...
Steven Breckler, PhD., cites the social conditions that existed at Abu Grhaib, and cites Solomon Asch in providing insight into how good people might otherwise do very bad things (Breckler, Steven, 2008, found online at (http://www.apa.org/ppo/issues/breckler604.html).
One example comes from research on social conformity. When you drive down the highway, and notice that the drivers in front of you are all shifting lanes to the right, do you follow suit? Do you move, with the crowd, to the right? Most likely, the answer is yes. Why do you do it? In the absence of other information, you assume that the other drivers know something or see something that you don't know or didn't see. You conform to their actions. In most situations, conformity is probably a good thing. Yet, it can lead you astray. In the classic research on conformity, Solomon Asch found that people often follow the incorrect lead of others even when the truth is as plain as can be (Breckler, Steven, 2008, online)."
Each of the individuals cited here contribute a body of work and thought on what went wrong at Abu Ghraib; but at the end of the day, each of us must be responsible for our own actions, and find within ourselves the humanity and moral obligation to do what is right. When we fail to do that, society has not failed, we have failed ourselves.
Abu Ghraib Guard Admits Seven Charges of Abuse." Daily Post (Liverpool, England) 3 May 2005: 6. Questia. 13 Feb. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5009410197.
Anderson, Kevin B., "Thinking about Fromm and Marxism," Logos 6.3, found online at http://www.logosjournal.com/issue_6.3/anderson.htm, retrieved 12 February 2008.
Breckler, Steven (2008), "How Psychology can Help Explain the Iraqi Prisoner Abuse," American Psychological Association, found online at http://www.apa.org/topics/iraqiabuse.html, retrieved 12 February 2008.
Dittman, Melissa (2008), "What Makes People Do Bad Things?," American Psychological Association, found online at http://www.apa.org/monitor/oct04/goodbad.html, retrieved 12 February 2008.
Phillips, Stone, (2005), "Behind the Abu Ghraib Photos, Dateline NBC television and online at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9532670/,retrieved 12 February 2008.
Spritzler, John (2004), Abu Ghraib: "We Have Met the Enemy, and He is not Us," newdemocracyworld.org, found online at http://www.newdemocracyworld.org/War/Pogo.htm, retrieved 12 February 2008.
If anything, the fact that ordinary civilian students proved capable of such conduct on other civilians, even without the psychological stresses of a wartime combat zone and genuinely hostile prisoners, suggests that the risk of similar abuse in genuine wartime situations is much higher. In Abu Ghraib, mixed units with different levels of training were operating in a hostile combat zone where they were subject to hostile action (i.e. mortar
Most, however, focused on the chain of command that was responsible for the incident. People became outraged with George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. Many assumed that Abu Ghraib was an isolated incident, dismissing larger implications of what happened there. But Gronnvoll brings many neglected issues into our attention. She specifically analyses gender implications of not only what happened in Abu Ghraib but also of the way the photographs
Among the dozen investigations of the Abu Ghraib abuses, one found that the landmark Stanford study provided a cautionary tale for all military detention operations. In differentiating the comparatively benign environment of the Stanford prison experiment, this report makes obvious that in military detention operations, soldiers work under demanding combat conditions that are far from benign. The insinuation is that those combat conditions might be anticipated to produce even
We must be cautious yet. The district is closed to us for a time. Deplorable! Upon the whole, the trade will suffer. […] Look how precarious the position is (Conrad 1902, p. 143). Otherwise, he notes, the ivory Kurtz collected is perfectly good. But in the face of months of strange rumors, the Company's refusal to check his activities earlier amounts to moral complicity; as Phil Zimbardo notes in a
Even governments who supported the use of force, most notably Britain, did not support the regime change." Motivating U.S. position, author Robert J. Lieber justifies the preemptive and preventive use of force by the American policymakers: "militant Islamic terrorism plus weapons of mass destruction pose a threat and require us to alter the way we think about the preemptive and even preventive use of force." Supporting the human rights argument
Inhumanity in the Stanford Prison Experiment Introduction According to Philip Zimbardo, dehumanization is the act of marginalizing another human being to the point where that person is seen to be less than human, outside the moral order—i.e., an animal. The moral order suggests that people should respect the lives of other human beings. When that order is ignored, dehumanization occurs. This paper will look at what dehumanization is, why it is so