On “Othering”

 

Recently, I listened to an interview of Dr Zimbardo of the Stanford Prison Experiment, who has lately been studying what makes people and especially groups of people either evil or heroic under pressure. The number one thing that makes a person or group evil is what he calls “othering.” If instead of disagreeing with someone in some meaningful and articulate way, you say something about “stupid people” or “ignorant people,” you can say and do anything you want without feeling responsible. This is his number one way people become evil under pressure, but there are like 15 of them. Check it out, its a great interview…

 

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