Psychology of Evil

If you were to ask a random person on the street whether they are inherently good or evil, what do you think they would say? Better yet, if someone were to ask you this question, how would you respond? Can a good person be guilty of carrying out evil deeds? If we deeply contemplate these questions, coming to accurate conclusions may be much more complicated than it first appears.

The human condition is inherently complex. Philosophers and psychologists have long struggled to both conceptualize what it means to be ‘evil’ and to explain the factors that lead to evil deeds. The primary aim of this course is to introduce you to the science behind the dark side of humanity. The psychology of evil will be explored through different viewpoints: the person, the situation, and the relationship between the person and the situation. You will learn about the research on personality factors linked to evil, situational pressures that persuade people to act immorally, and how people are susceptible to these influences. After completing this course, you will have obtained an in-depth understanding of how evil is conceptualized, what leads some people to be perceived as evil, and how good people can commit evil acts.

Image Description
Created by Dr. Daniel McGrath
10 lessons
Image Description

Free for 7 days. Then $7.5/mo.
Cancel anytime.


About the author

3 courses

Dr. Daniel McGrath is an associate professor of psychology in Canada. He holds a PhD in experimental psychology and has substantial research expertise in consumer behavior, addictions, personality, and cognitive psychology. His research program has resulted in over three dozen publications in scientific journals.

In addition, Dr. McGrath regularly teaches university undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology, including Introductory Psychology, the Psychology of Addiction, Drugs and Behavior, Personality Psychology, Health Psychology, Social Psychology, and the Psychology of Persuasion.

In his spare time, Dr. McGrath enjoys hiking in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, bodybuilding, and spending time with his family. He is excited to share his knowledge of psychology on Highbrow and hopes you enjoy taking his courses as much as he enjoyed making them.