The Psychology of Genocide, Massacres, and Extreme Violence: Why Normal People Come to Commit Atrocities

ABC-CLIO, 30.5.2007 - 216 sivua

Chronicling horrific events that brought the 20th century to witness the largest number of systematic slaughters of human beings in any century across history, this work goes beyond historic details and examines contemporary psychological means that leaders use to convince individuals to commit horrific acts in the name of a politial or military cause. Massacres in Nanking, Rwanda, El Salvador, Vietnam, and other countries are reviewed in chilling detail. But the core issue is what psychological forces are behind large- scale killing; what psychology can be used to indoctrinate normal people with a Groupthink that moves individuals to mass murder brutally and without regret, even when the victims are innocent children. Dutton shows us how individuals are convinced to commit such sadistic acts, often preceded by torture, after being indoctrinated with beliefs that the target victims are unjust, inhuman or viral, like a virus that must be destroyed or it will destroy society.

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Donald G. Dutton is Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. A Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Dutton has researched violence in forensic and domestic situations across 30 years. He has led court-mandated treatment groups for violent offenders, interviewed spousal killers, and authored four books plus more than 100 articles on the psychological mechanisms of violence perpetrators. Dutton has appeared on Dateline NBC, Larry King Live, National Public Radio, and Good Morning America.

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