Der Luzifer-Effekt

Warum werden rechtschaffene, normale Menschen manchmal zu Schergen des Bösen? Die extremste Wandlung dieser Art stellt natürlich die Geschichte von Gottes liebstem Engel Luzifer dar – und diese Geschichte setzt den Rahmen für meine psychologischen Untersuchungen der niederen menschlichen Wandlungen als Reaktion auf den zersetzenden Einfluss starker situationsbedingter Kräfte.

Derartige Kräfte wirken in vielen alltäglichen Verhaltenskontexten und verzerren unser sonst gutes Wesen, indem sie uns zu abweichendem, zerstörerischem oder bösartigem Verhalten antreiben. Wenn wir neuen und unvertrauten Situationen ausgesetzt sind, funktionieren unsere üblichen Muster des Denkens, Fühlens und Handelns nicht mehr und können unseren moralischen Kompass, der uns in der Vergangenheit verlässlich geführt hat, nicht mehr stützen.

In den letzten drei Jahrzehnten haben meine Untersuchungen und die meiner Kollegen gezeigt, mit welch relativer Leichtigkeit normale Leute dazu gebracht werden können, sich in einer Weise zu verhalten, die als bösartig bezeichnet werden muss. Wir haben Untersuchungsteilnehmer in Experimenten getestet, in denen starke situationsbedingte Kräfte – Anonymität, Gruppenzwänge oder die Verteilung der persönlichen Verantwortung – sie dazu veranlassten, blind einer Autorität zu gehorchen und Unschuldige anzugreifen, nachdem sie diese entmenschlicht hatten.

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