Psych of Evil lecture 3
WHAT ARE THE FEATURES OF THE PROTOTYPE OF EVIL?
1. Harm – severity, extremety matters
- Focus: event, victim
- The More extreme, the more evil
2. Intentionality – “repeat offender” status matter
- Focus: perpetrator
*Mr. X had sexual contact with Ms. Y. Situation 1: Mr. X has HIV and knows it yet still had sex with Ms. Y.
Situation 2: Mr. X didn’t know he has HIV and had sex with Ms. Y.
*Intent + harm = most evil accdg to respondents
*Less intentional = less evil
3. (Lack of) Justifiability – how people are making sense of an evil deed
- Focus: perceiver, who’ vantage point?
- Taking perpetrator’s perspective matter
- The “swing vote”
- Moves evil to the greatest extent
*S1: Ms. X who killed two men who were raping her 6 year old daughter. S2: Ms. X killed two men after luring
them to her apartment with wild sex.
* what differs here is how people regard Ms. X’s behavior.
Justifiability moves evil to its extent
- Ms. Y as 30 or a 12 year old (the situation in the former example above).
- When Ms. Y is 30, low intent, evil judgment is low
- When Ms. Y is 12, absence of intent, evil judgment is in high of middle scale only
- When Ms. Y is 12, high intent, highest evil judgment scale + high harm
- When Ms. Y is 30, high intent, highest as well = high harm
Two other research examples:
A. Quiles et. al. 2010
- Gave people various examples of behaviors which involved some kind of harm (intentional infliction of harm)
- The aggressiveness of behavior varies
- The evilness of the behaviors varies
E.g.: Killing the person for pleasure – 6.7 scale; Killing one person to depend oneself – 1.7 scale
- Both are killing other people but it depends on how other people justify the evil deeds
B. Alford, 1997
- “Eikman is not evil because he just did what he is supposed to do.” – People put justification
Can Intent to harm (without actual harm) be evil?
A. The Wile E. Cayote Study
- Wile E. cayote intended bombing, harming the rodent but haven’t actually did it
- Is Wile E. cayote Evil?
- Study involves two stories:
Story 1: Doe John Inflicted harm and actua