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Human Nature And Social-Psychological Insights

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on social-psychology rather than on psychology or psychiatry. The underlying thought of social-psychology is that man has the potential of being both altruistic and aggressive depending on his personal dispositions, the circumstances surrounding him and the interaction between the two. Social-psychology helps us understand how man reacts to the circumstances surrounding him. The chapter discusses several characteristics of man such as aggression and obedience as well as experiments related to these issues such as Milgram's obedience experiments and its replications. Furthermore, the influence of certain atrocity producing environments such as a prison is analysed by studying the Stanford Prison Experiment, conducted by Philip Zimbardo in the early seventies.

Keywords: aggression; Milgram's obedience experiments; Philip Zimbardo; social-psychology; Stanford Prison Experiment



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