The Pentagon and the military say that the Abu Ghraib scandal is the result of a few bad apples in an otherwise good barrel. That's the dispositional analysis. The social psychologist in me, and the consensus among many of my colleagues in experimental social psychology, says that's the wrong analysis. It's not the bad apples, it's the bad barrels that corrupt good people.Here is a video of the interview.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
"You Can't Be A Sweet Cucumber in a Vinegar Barrel"
Philip Zimbardo did the Stanford prison experiments in the 70's during which normal college students became abusive guards. Here is a interview with him in which he talks about Abu Ghraib.