Prof. Philip Zimbardo, the conductor of the infamous 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, has become a leading authority on the psychology of evil.

Research fellow Julian Sanchez focuses primarily on issues at the busy intersection of technology, privacy, civil liberties, and new media — but also writes more broadly about political philosophy and social psychology. Before joining Cato, Sanchez served as the Washington Editor for the technology news site Ars Technica, where he covered surveillance, intellectual property, and telecom policy. Prior to that, he was an assistant editor for Reason magazine, where he remains a contributing editor. Sanchez’s writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The American Prospect, Reason, The Guardian, Techdirt, The American Spectator, and Hispanic, among others, and he blogs regularly forThe Economist’s Democracy in America. Sanchez studied philosophy and political science at New York University.

Will Wilkinson is a Canadian American libertarian writer and former research fellow and managing editor at the Cato Institute. His political philosophy is described by The American Conservative magazine as “Rawlsekian,” a mixture of John Rawls’s principles and Friedrich von Hayek’s methods.

Featuring the author, Philip Zimbardo, Stanford University, with comments by Julian Sanchez, Reason, and Will Wilkinson, Cato Institute. Prof. Philip Zimbardo, the conductor of the infamous 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, has become a leading authority on the psychology of evil: How is it that people are induced to commit evil, even when they consider themselves “good” people? What social dynamics encourage—or discourage—cruelty toward other human beings? The Lucifer Effect offers a full reconstruction of the 1971 experiment based on archival video, subject diaries, exit interviews, and other contemporary material. It then gives an introduction to the psychology of social morality as it has developed over the years. The book culminates with an examination of the prisoner abuse scandals of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere, challenging accounts that would hold individual soldiers solely responsible for their actions, and indicting the chain of command for knowingly creating conditions that would lead to degrading treatment and torture.