How can psychology help explain evil behavior? In a society seemingly full of school shootings, serial killers, terrorism, cults, and more, the field of psychology offers some answers as to why the world around us is flooded with wickedness and wrongdoing. By studying and researching key concepts, theories, and phenomena, students will come to better understand why evil behavior exists and what can be done to prevent it.
This unit includes lessons that explore these following questions:
1) What factors seem to play significant roles in evil behavior?
2) How do Milgram’s and Zimbardo’s experiments help explain evil behavior?
3) How does nature and nurture play a role in evil behavior?
4) Should American society be concerned about kid’s exposure to violent media?
5) What is the bystander effect & how does it lead to evil behavior?
6) How can extreme conformity lead to evil behavior?
7) Why does racism exist and what can be done to eliminate it?
The unit concludes with the "Encounters with Evil" research project that allows students to select an evil event, research it, and present their findings on how psychology helps explain the evil behavior and how it can be prevented.