American psychological association essay

But if we accept the message from decades of social psychological research, that at least some instances of violence and malice are not the result of “pure evil” — that otherwise decent individuals can, under certain circumstances, be compelled to commit horrible acts, even atrocities — then the results of these studies serve as an important cautionary tale. The longer we cling to strong beliefs about the existence of pure evil, the more aggressive and antisocial we become.  And we may be aggressing towards individuals who are, in fact, “redeemable.”  Individuals who are not intrinsically and immutably motivated by the desire to intentionally cause harm to others. That may be the greatest trick the devil has ever pulled.

American psychological association essay

american psychological association essay

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