In this season of family gatherings and expansive meals, imagine a miracle drug that manages your weight, gives you energy, increases your longevity, strengthens your heart, and makes you more alert – with no side effects. Would you use it?
Any study of collective violence confronts a fundamental paradox: the abundance of cruelty in the world and the absence of people who think of themselves as cruel. How do we resolve that paradox and find out about the motivations of violent perpetrators?
Most of us believe we would never dangerously shock an innocent person – as participants in the Milgram experiments thought they were doing. But what about disobedience in real life? One way to assess the costs of such disobedience is to observe what happens when people defy a powerful system they consider morally wrong.
We believe what we see – and that has made a big difference in public responses to violence, from Ray Rice’s assault of his fiancée in an elevator several months ago to the killing of Walter Scott by a police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina.
As with conversation or jazz, effective teaching combines structure and improvisation. Although each teacher must find the right blend, there are generalizations that apply to most teachers most of the time.