The Violence Within Us

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Violence and brutality are grim realities of life. So why are some people violent, and others aren't? Are some of us born that way, or can anyone be pushed into committing acts of cruelty? What would it take for an ordinary person to become violent? In this hour, TED speakers explore the sinister side of human nature, and whether we're all capable of violence.

Philip Zimbardo, the leader of the notorious 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, explores the nature of evil. UC Irvine neuroscientist Jim Fallon looks at the way nature and nurture intermingle to wire up the human brain. Leslie Morgan Steiner, a writer and outspoken advocate for survivors of domestic violence, explores why victims of domestic violence don't leave. And Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker charts the decline of violence from Biblical times to the presence, and argues, surprisingly, that we are living in the most peaceful time in our species' existence.

Learn more or listen again to this week's episode.

Banner image: Sascha Burkard/Stockphoto

Credits

Host:
Guy Raz