Reflections on Social Psychology while reading Hannah Arendt
- Reflections, Social Psychology, Hannah Arendt
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Two recent articles in the American Psychologist (Vol 74, no. 7, 2019) on the Stanford Prison Experiment induced me to re-read Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition (1958), On Totalitarianism (1973). and Eichmann in Jerusalem (Arendt and Kroh, 1964). This re-reading and reflection deepened my understanding of the value and role of social psychology and Arendt’s deep understanding of human speech and action as it relates to the Human Sciences and understanding our role in the social and political world.
The review includes an experiment by Arthur Asch on “Opinion and social pressure” published in 1955 and then looks at Stanley Milgram’s experiment on obedience published in 1963. The review of these articles provides a context for looking at Philip Zimbardo’s Sanford Prison Experiment (1973) and a critique of that experiment which led to my re-reading Hannah Arendt. This article continues an exploration of my efforts (Morehouse, 2012; Morehouse, 2015; Morehouse et al, 2019) at integrating some elements of psychology and philosophy with the goal of deepening understanding of contemporary issues.
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