Based on the work of Philip Zimbardo, this task builds on a brief introduction to psychology (note my scrambled up psychologist task on my store) and has students use the ‘Lucifer Effect’ to explain how situational variables can influence individuals both negatively but also positively by focusing on modern events such as the Rwandan Genocide, Khmer Rouge (9 suggested topics are included). Front load Zimabaro’s work with Discovering Psychology (Power of the Situation) found on YouTube or in the public domain along with other resources to explain the theory to students so they can apply this in the assignment. Students create educational documentaries focusing on what conditions can make good or average people do evil things based on their collective research. Presentations must provide suggestions on how chosen historical eras may have been changed to avoid evil events that unfolded using hindsight in their conclusions. This assignment can be a video unit or completed in PowerPoint, Google Slides or other mediums.
If your not familiar with Zimbardo's Lucifer Effect go to his his website and consider buying his book. This is a highly engaging end of year activity but will require front loading his theory with your students. I plan to post front loading activities at a later date.