The Nature Of Evil In People

Evil does not exist except in our own views, we believe in people as evil because we neglect to comprehend the reasoning behind the actions that they perform. In our society, we are typically trying to understand the psychology of the victims in a situation, rather than trying to understand why the perpetrator has acted in a manner that harms another being. The perpetrator would be considered to be evil in this instance. Evil manifests in a person through psychological processes which may be the causes of the upbringing of the perpetrator, genetics, manipulation, and the influence of authority figures.

The upbringing of a child can later affect the “goodness” in them in their adult life. Children can become the objects of negative behavior, such as bullying, which affects their attitude in life as they get older. Being exposed to traumatic experiences in adolescence can negatively affect the advancement of the brain when it's most vulnerable. Trauma in the childhood of a person can be formed from abusive experiences, for example, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and the unexpected loss of a parent or guardian. “People with significant development trauma dissociate from their environment and from themselves early on — a last ditch survival mechanism — and may remain disconnected from themselves throughout childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood, only recognizing what has happened when there is no other choice but to do so”. This evidence shows us how childhood trauma and experience affects the developing individual. Some may contend that there are still people who experience their childhood in negative environments and still not perform acts of evil. While this is valid, one of the primary reasons why they end up like this is because of different coping mechanisms. Two individuals can be placed in similar circumstances, but due to them still being completely different people, the result will most likely vary with every person. These experiences further lead into mental health issues and illnesses in adult life which can manifest into performing acts of evil. In many research studies, it is proven that mental illness disorders such as psychopathy, pedophilia, and many more are the result of childhood trauma. Childhood experiences shape adult life. Growing up in these conditions greatly affects the outcome of an individual.

Researchers have recognized hereditary connections between a set of psychological factors and say they could also influence risk factors for certain psychiatric disorders. According to research, “other genetic correlations showed connections between extraversion and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); between openness and schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; and between neuroticism and depression and anxiety”. Through this research it is proven that there is a relationship between certain genes and mental illness. In other words, similar pieces of DNA coding that create our personalities could likewise influence our probability of creating mental health issues. This directly correlates into the mental illness involved with those who perform acts of evil. Although genetics isn’t the sole factor into the psychology of evil, it still plays a large part in why people become evil beings. It's still early days for the exploration, and the investigation has just demonstrated a connection, not a causative connection between personality traits and mental health issues. In spite of the fact that, as research proceeds into this field and more is being found, we may have the option to figure out how to anticipate and treat these disorders later on.

There are numerous examples where we have discovered that as human beings and as good people we are still capable of performing acts of evil. One of these instances is the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by Professor Philip Zimbardo. In this experiment, regular college students were put in a false jail and were all of a sudden transformed into forceful guards and hysterical prisoners. Several of the guards became continuously more aggressive and the experiment had completely come out of hand. The detainees were completely dehumanized and within the first few days, one of the prisoners had an extreme mental breakdown. The guards acted barbarous towards the prisoners and at one point during the experiment had broken into each cell and stripped the prisoners naked and proceeded to take the beds out of their cells. This experiment is a cruel example of where good people turn bad.

10 October 2020
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