Evil: Inside Human Cruelty and Violence

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9780716729020: Evil: Inside Human Cruelty and Violence

This study of human violence begins by describing the "magnitude gap" between the victim's viewpoint and that of the perpetrator. It then goes on to explore the basic roots of evil, evil as a means to an end, revenge and egotism, and sadism. The final section looks at how people step over the line between acceptable and evil acts, then how evil can grow and spread. There is also a discussion of the human mechanism for suppressing evil - guilt - as well as our natural inclination towards ambivalence, which allows evil to flourish.

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About the Author:

Roy F. Baumeister, Ph.D., holds the E. B. Smith Professorship in Liberal Arts at Case Western Reserve University. Since receiving his doctorate in social psychology from Princeton University, he has received numerous fellowships and awards. He has published nearly 150 scientific works and is cited in numerous sources in the popular media. Baumeister has authored or co-authored nine other books, including Losing Control: How and Why Self-Regulation Fails and Meanings of Life. He lives on the shores of the Great Lakes.

Dr. Aaron T. Beck, M.D., the Father of Cognitive Therapy, is University Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, and President of The Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy. He is the author and co-author of twelve books and over 350 articles and chapters.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this open-minded, provocative, unsettling inquiry into the causes of evil, Baumeister rejects the entrenched view that low self-esteem causes violence and aggression. On the contrary, he argues, violent or evil people tend to have highly favorable opinions of themselves, and cross the line to commit immoral, hurtful acts when they feel their egotism is threatened by others. Among the root causes of evil he identifies are ambition, desire for power or wealth, misplaced idealistic adherence to a creed or doctrine and sadistic pleasure. He applies this framework, with varying degrees of persuasiveness, to an analysis of diverse evils: murder, rape, street crime, war, petty cruelty, emotional abuse, wife beating, government repression, racial and ethnic hatreds. A social psychologist at Case Western Reserve University, Baumeister believes that evil grows and spreads when cultures stop restraining individuals' angry, violent impulses?a process abetted by desensitization, yearnings for revenge, group conformity and inadequate socialization or upbringing. His rewarding study challenges?and complements?traditional, religion-based views of evil with a humanistic perspective. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Baumeister, Roy F.
Published by W H Freeman & Co (1996)
ISBN 10: 0716729024 ISBN 13: 9780716729020
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Roy F. Baumeister
Published by W H Freeman & Co (1996)
ISBN 10: 0716729024 ISBN 13: 9780716729020
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