Wie gute Menschen böse werden...

Auf Wired gibt es ein hochinteressantes Interview mit dem Psychologen Philip Zimbardo, der 1971 das berühmt-berüchtigte Stanford-Experiment durchführte, in dem er Studenten in Wärter und Gefangene einteilte und das Grundlage für den Film „Das Experiment“ war. Im Interview geht es um die Folter im irakischen Abu Ghraib:

Wired: You were an expert defense witness in the court-martial of Sgt. Chip Frederick, an Abu Ghraib guard. What were the situational influences in his case?

Zimbardo: Abu Ghraib was under bombardment all the time. In the prison, five soldiers and 20 Iraqi prisoners get killed. That means automatically any soldier working there is under high fear and high stress. Then the insurgency starts in 2003, and they start arresting everyone in sight. When Chip Frederick [starts working at Abu Ghraib] in September, there are 200 prisoners there. Within three months there's a thousand prisoners with a handful of guards to take care of them, so they're overwhelmed. Frederick and the others worked 12-hour shifts. How many days a week? Seven. How many days without a day off? Forty. That kind of stress reduces decision-making and critical thinking and rationality. But that's only the beginning.

He [complained] to higher-ups on the record, "We have mentally ill patients who cover themselves with [excrement]. We have people with tuberculosis that shouldn't be in this population. We have kids mixed with adults."

And they tell him, "It's a war zone. Do your job. Do whatever you have to do."

Heute hat er auf der TED-Konferenz gesprochen, ich denke, das Video dazu wird in den nächsten Tagen im meinem Feedreader auftauchen. Ich reiche das dann nach.


[update] Auf der TED-Website gibt es erste Notizen zu Zimbardos Vortrag:

What makes people go wrong?. "The line between good and evil is movable and permeable. Good people can be seduced through that line. Good and evil are the yin and yang of the world; God's favorite angel was Lucifer, which God punished by sending to Hell -- paradoxically, it was God who created evil. Evil is the exercise of power to intentionally harm people psychologically, destroy them physically and commit crimes against humanity."