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The Stanford prison experiment came out of class exercises in which I encouraged students to understand the dynamics of prison life.
The line between good and evil is permeable and almost anyone can be induced to cross it when pressured by situational forces.
The level of shyness has gone up dramatically in the last decade. I think shyness is an index of social pathology rather than a pathology of the individual.
Situational variables can exert powerful influences over human behavior, more so that we recognize or acknowledge.
Prejudice and discrimination have always been a big part of my life. When I was 6, I got beat up and called dirty Jew boy because they thought I looked Jewish.
One can't live mindfully without being enmeshed in psychological processes that are around us.
My early childhood prepared me to be a social psychologist. I grew up in a South Bronx ghetto in a very poor family. From Sicilian origin, I was the first person in my family to complete high school, let alone go to college.
I was discriminated against because I was Jewish, Italian, black and Puerto Rican. But maybe the worst prejudice I experienced was against the poor. I grew up on welfare and often had to move in the middle of the night because we couldn't pay the rent.
I started studying shyness in adults in 1972. Shyness operates at so many different levels. Out of that research came the Stanford shyness clinic in 1977.
I have been primarily interested in how and why ordinary people do unusual things, things that seem alien to their natures. Why do good people sometimes act evil? Why do smart people sometimes do dumb or irrational things?
Human behavior is incredibly pliable, plastic.
Heroes are those who can somehow resist the power of the situation and act out of noble motives, or behave in ways that do not demean others when they easily can.
Evil is knowing better, but willingly doing worse.
Being A Mom
Teachers And Teaching
Trust In God
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