using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : May 2015
The story of the Stanford Prison exper- iment has been told and re-told countless times, despite the fact that it’s widely con- sidered to be an example of science gone wrong and its results have never been replicated. (There is even a new film about the experiment, starring Billy Crudup.) Why are we so fascinated by this study in evil—as Zimbardo often calls it—and why does the word “evil” sound so much more serious and hard-edged than good? Part of the answer lies in our natural negativity bias. This is our hardwired tendency to notice and amplify threats. It explains why so many people tend to believe that human life is brutal and cold, despite all evidence to the contrary. Negativity bias is the essence of natural selection: people who run away from a man with a gun or avoid a car running a red light are more likely to pass on their genes to the next generation. And these harrowing moments are more likely to burn themselves into our neurons than the gentle ones, so that we can avoid similar threats in the future. The Stanford Prison experiment fasci- nates us in part because of its highly con- centrated negativity. We’re really good at focusing the spotlight of our attention on things we think might hurt us. But what happens when we put a spotlight on one thing? Everything else is thrown into darkness. This means we miss the good things that are outside of the spotlight. Something else happens as well: When we focus on bad things, we’re triggering the stress response, often be- low conscious awareness. If you think of the Stanford Prison experiment as a kind of miniature model of real life—if you think of yourself as living in the equiva- lent of that basement—then you’re going to be stressed. 456789 12 PHOTOBYROBCAMPBELL/STOCKSYUNITEDPHOTO©ZDENKAM|DREAMSTIME.COM SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2015 59