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Friday, October 4, 2019

Lucifer Effect: The Psychology of Evil on Why Good People Do Bad Things

the lucifer effect

According to the Bible, Lucifer was one of God’s right-hand archangels. He was perfect, beautiful, wise and just all-over magnificent, but something bad happened when he became obsessed with his own prowess and believed he deserved the same glory as God.

As a result of his pride to overthrow God, he was propelled down to the very deep of the earth with all his accomplices in the rebellion having such powerful force they created their kingdom called Hell. Well, we believed that Lucifer was once a good person who turned evil because of obsession to power.

What connects the story from the article are the backgrounds of the offenders. In other words, they were already good and bad people. But what about the exceptions, especially good people that end up doing bad things for reasons? Perhaps the Lucifer Effect can help us understand.


So what is the Lucifer Effect?


The Lucifer effect was described as an extreme point of life where an ordinary, normal person first crosses the boundary between good and evil in order to engage with evil actions. Most of us believe that we would never commit an evil act unless we were under an extremely difficult situation where we have to do something against our will.

In particular, if a person fears for his/her life or children’s lives, he/she might kick out or accidentally harm someone. But never been intentionally sought to hurt someone, because that’s not in our nature.

But, certain experts think that we are all capable of doing evil things. Take WWII for instance, and the vicious crime carried out by hundreds of thousands of Nazi troops.

Lucifer Effect was coined by a psychologist Phillip Zimbardo, who conducted the famous Stanford Prison experiments by which normal people were grouped as 'prisoners' or 'guards' in the study.

Philip Zimbardo is the psychologist behind the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment on 1971. In his study, ordinary college students were experimented by randomly assigning them the roles of prisoners and ward guards. The study only last for less than a week because of the guards brutality towards the prisoners.


As a result of the experiment, Zimbardo spent 30 years for researching the specific set of conditions and circumstances that would contribute to the development of Lucifer Effect. He examined what will make the perfect storm and enable good people to commit evil acts.

He later found out 4 factors that could make up the Lucifer Effect, namely group conformity, obedience to authority, stereotypes and the environment.

Photo Credit: CBN

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