Psychology of moral behavior
The To what extent is moral behavior situational?
thread is focusing on philosophical issues, which is fine. In this thread, let's discuss the psychological issues, which interest me more and which I found most thought-provoking when reading the book.
First, let me clarify what I mean by situational moral behavior. Most people would have different answers to the questions "Is it acceptable to attack someone who's minding their own business?" and "Is it acceptable to attack someone who's trying to kill you?" That's not what I'm talking about here. Instead, consider cases, such as the Stanford Prison Experiment and Abu Ghraib, in which participants did stuff that they would previously have considered immoral, even when told the context.
What does it say about moral behavior when, over the course of a few days, actions like those performed by the SPE guards can emerge?