Can Psychology Explain the Holocaust?

After watching The Boy in the Striped Pajamas everyone wonders, ŌHow can something like this happen?Ķ  Yet the fact is, the extermination of the Jews continued on an unprecedented scale during World War II (1939-1945).  Over the years, psychologists have attempted to explain why (they have also tried to prove that fascism couldnÕt happen in America, with often surprising results!). 

The following are several experiments that examine humansÕ capacity for evil.  Each group will examine one of the following experiments and report their findings to the class tomorrow. 

These experiments will hopefully shed light on why the Holocaust happened and why millions stood by and did nothing!


SherifÕs Conformity Experiment (1930s)

AschÕs Conformity Research (1950s)

MilramÕs Obedience to Authority Experiment (1960s)

Stanford Prison Experiment (1970s)

Jane Elliot – Blue Eyes vs. Brown Eyes (1960s)

Bystander Effect

The  Wave