Daimonion. A multi-disciplinary perspective on aggressive evil and its interconnection with individual psychology and criminal behavior

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dc.contributor Helsingin yliopisto, valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Sosiaalitieteiden laitos fi
dc.contributor.author Bontas, Marilena fi
dc.date.accessioned 2012-06-09T12:01:17Z
dc.date.available 2012-06-09T12:01:17Z
dc.date.issued 2012-06-09
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10138/34063
dc.description Endast sammandrag. Inbundna avhandlingar kan sökas i Helka-databasen (http://www.helsinki.fi/helka). Elektroniska kopior av avhandlingar finns antingen öppet på nätet eller endast tillgängliga i bibliotekets avhandlingsterminaler. sv
dc.description Only abstract. Paper copies of master’s theses are listed in the Helka database (http://www.helsinki.fi/helka). Electronic copies of master’s theses are either available as open access or only on thesis terminals in the Helsinki University Library. en
dc.description Vain tiivistelmä. Sidottujen gradujen saatavuuden voit tarkistaa Helka-tietokannasta (http://www.helsinki.fi/helka). Digitaaliset gradut voivat olla luettavissa avoimesti verkossa tai rajoitetusti kirjaston opinnäytekioskeilla. fi
dc.description.abstract The present paper explores the phenomenon of aggressive evil debated through different, disciplinary perspectives and its understanding by connection to the inner psychology of the person and criminal behavior. The main theoretical sources of the present thesis come from the studies of P. Zimbardo on the good nature versus the evil nature of people, S. Milgram’s work on obedience to authority, H. Arendt’s report on the ‘banality of evil’, T. Bran’s case of a lethal exorcism at Tanacu in Romania and the essay on the social psychology of evil comprised by A. Miller. The idea that initiated an interest to study the criminal nature of ordinary people and the delimitations of aggressive evil between a causal, emotional rupture in the psychology of the person and a contextual explanation was triggered by the beautiful work of Philip Zimbardo, ‘The Lucifer effect’ where he recounts the conditions, processes and results of his Stanford Prison Experiment in 1971. Hannah Arendt’s ‘banality of evil’ is also debated thoroughly in the paper because it contains solid evidence to explaining extreme evil acts, as seen in the conduct of Eichmann, Mengele or Himmler during the Holocaust. The analytical method utilized in order to make the connection between aggressive evil, the psychology of the individual and crime is Content Analysis. This method was used in order to analyze five interviews conducted in Romania that involved participants in different professions: a prison psychologist, a psychiatrist, a legal doctor and two priests. The results confirm partly the hypothesis, however, due to the relativity of the term, certain limitations have been also drawn. This study offers a different view on aggressive evil, trying to focus mostly on the extreme acts, thus, avoiding confusion or biased opinions that a simple take on ‘evil’ would entail. However, there is still room for further improvement, and, as the results shown, the study could be extended and applied to future research on the psychology of evil, a discipline that is, unfortunately non-existent in the academic world. fi
dc.description.abstract The present paper explores the phenomenon of aggressive evil debated through different, disciplinary perspectives and its understanding by connection to the inner psychology of the person and criminal behavior. The main theoretical sources of the present thesis come from the studies of P. Zimbardo on the good nature versus the evil nature of people, S. Milgram’s work on obedience to authority, H. Arendt’s report on the ‘banality of evil’, T. Bran’s case of a lethal exorcism at Tanacu in Romania and the essay on the social psychology of evil comprised by A. Miller. The idea that initiated an interest to study the criminal nature of ordinary people and the delimitations of aggressive evil between a causal, emotional rupture in the psychology of the person and a contextual explanation was triggered by the beautiful work of Philip Zimbardo, ‘The Lucifer effect’ where he recounts the conditions, processes and results of his Stanford Prison Experiment in 1971. Hannah Arendt’s ‘banality of evil’ is also debated thoroughly in the paper because it contains solid evidence to explaining extreme evil acts, as seen in the conduct of Eichmann, Mengele or Himmler during the Holocaust. The analytical method utilized in order to make the connection between aggressive evil, the psychology of the individual and crime is Content Analysis. This method was used in order to analyze five interviews conducted in Romania that involved participants in different professions: a prison psychologist, a psychiatrist, a legal doctor and two priests. The results confirm partly the hypothesis, however, due to the relativity of the term, certain limitations have been also drawn. This study offers a different view on aggressive evil, trying to focus mostly on the extreme acts, thus, avoiding confusion or biased opinions that a simple take on ‘evil’ would entail. However, there is still room for further improvement, and, as the results shown, the study could be extended and applied to future research on the psychology of evil, a discipline that is, unfortunately non-existent in the academic world. fi
dc.language.iso en fi
dc.title Daimonion. A multi-disciplinary perspective on aggressive evil and its interconnection with individual psychology and criminal behavior fi
dc.type Thesis fi
dc.type.ontasot Pro gradu -työ fi
dc.type.dcmitype text fi
dc.subject.discipline Sosiaalipsykologia fi

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