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McNaughton Rule

you are defined as insane if you don't know what you did was wrong (too strict?)

The Product Rule or Derham/New Hampshire test

Is the crime a product of mental illness

mens rea

guilty mind; what were your intentions? were you forced?

irresistable impulse

mental disorder that makes you do something; you would still act that way if a cop were standing there

distinguishing evil from mental illness

difference in intent


intentionally behaving or causing other to act in ways that demean, dehumanize, harm, or destroy innocent people

problems with defining mental disorder as "different from average"

too subjective

problems with defining mental disorder as "behavior that leads to distress, disability, or increased risk of death, pain, or loss of freedom

heroic people like Gandhi

ventromedial prefrontal cortex

important for social reasoning and decision making

somatic marker hypothesis

links perceptual representations with representations of their emotional and social significance

antisocial personality disorder

a failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors, deceitfulness, impulsiveness, reckless disregard for the sake of self and others, lack of remorse and "consistent irresponsibility"

Bandura Observational Learning Study

observing violence increases violent behavior

Helping puppy to learn by punishing his mistakes study

50% of male students shocked the puppy; 100% of female students shocked the puppy

Stanley Milgrim experiment

as the "teacher" increases shock, he dissents, but ultimately obeys authority

how many people go up to 140 volts in the Stanley Milgrim study?

the majority

masked power study

anonymity (having a hood over your head) increases how long you will hold on to the shock button and you will increase over time

steps to propagating evil and terror

1. ideology to justify means to ends 2. small first step, minor action 3. successfully increasing small action 4. seemingly "just authority" in charge 5. compassionate leader changes gradually to become an authoritarian monster 6. rules are vague, changing 7. situation re-labels actors and actions ("teacher helping," not "aggressor hurting") 8. provide social models of compliance 9. allow verbal dissent, but insist on behavioral compliance 10. anonymity 11. making exit difficult

Stanford Prison Study

the volunteers begin to play their roles (randomly assigned: guard or prisoner) without instruction

EVIL: personal

personal pathologies of guilty actors, character defects, sadistic personalities

EVIL: situational

good men and women corrupted by behavioral context, by powerful situational force

EVIL: systematic

evil barrel of prison with evil barrel of war--more broad extrinsic influences, political, strategic, economic, general context

Andrea Yeats was sane

did not act "crazy or possessed," carefully planned, relentlessly executed, maintained her composure, understood her actions, understood her crime would be condemned

Andrea Yeats was insane

very sick, post-partum depression, post-partum psychosis, taken off medication, lover her child, psychotic delusion that she was saving her children from the devil, infanticide laws

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