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If you haven’t read Phil Zimbardo’s book,

 drop everything and read it now. It is a very important book. The first part of the book covers the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE). Most psychology majors will be familiar with the experiment but if you aren’t you should definitely read this. But, even more fascinating is Zimbardo’s explanation of the Abu Ghraib nightmare. He explains the facts of the prison, the torture, and the individuals involved. Zimbardo served as an expert witness for the trial so he is able to pull on personal experience as well as social psychological models. His use and application of social psychological theory from the SPE and a lifetime of teaching social psychology is impressive. Finally, the book ends with guidelines as to how we can resist becoming slaves to bad situations and how we can all help make the world a better place. This book is fascinating and insightful. I hope you will read it.

Jann Gumbiner, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and clinical professor at the University of California, Irvine College of Medicine.

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