Sample Essay

Isolation from social norms and constructs brings with it a feeling of lack of accountability and responsibility which can influence the individuals to act in ways that can be considered immoral. The Lucifer Effect is not only apparent in the prison situations like those of the Stanford Prison Experiment and that of Abu Ghraib but also in recorded incidents in history like the “Genocide in Rwanda, the mass suicide and murder of Peoples Temple followers in the jungles of Guyana, the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, the horrors of Nazi concentration camps, the torture by military and civilian police around the world, and the sexual abuse of parishioners by catholic priests, and search for lines of continuity between scandalous, fraudulent behavior of executives at Enron and WorldCom corporations.” (Zimbardo, 2007)

      Isolation is one of the instigators of degradation of human morality where they are removed from social norms and constructs. The lack of morality and immoral behavior depicted by such individuals is also effected by their previous prejudice against others and stereotypical discrimination. This can be supported by how the inmates of Arabic origin were targeted more so with torture than others in the Abu Ghraib prison and the suicide bombing attacks in Palestine conducted by both young men and women. This is because when humans are kept isolated for long periods elements of dehumanization arise which affect their decision making capability and their psychological cognitive processes.

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