How ordinary people become monsters … or heroes: Philip Zimbardo on TED.com

Psychologist Philip Zimbardo knows how easy it is for nice people to turn bad. In this talk, he shares his insights — and graphic, unsettling, unseen photos — from the Abu Ghraib trials, where he served as an expert witness. But he also studies the flip side of this question — how easy it is to become a hero, and how we can help each other rise to the challenge. (Recorded February 2008 in Monterey, California. Duration: 23:10.)

Watch Philip Zimbardo’s 2008 talk on TED.com, where you can download this TEDTalk, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances from our archive of almost 300 TEDTalks — including more talks about psychology.

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