Reflections on Social Psychology while reading Hannah Arendt
Richard E. Morehouse, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor, Psychology, Viterbo University
Two recent articles in the American Psychologist (Vol 74, no. 7, 2019) on the Stanford Prison Experiment induced me to re-read Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition (1958), On Totalitarianism (1973). and Eichmann in Jerusalem (Arendt and Kroh, 1964). This re-reading and reflection deepened my understanding of the value and role of social psychology and Arendt’s deep understanding of human speech and action as it relates to the Human Sciences and understanding our role in the social and political world.
The review includes an experiment by Arthur Asch on “Opinion and social pressure” published in 1955 and then looks at Stanley Milgram’s experiment on obedience published in 1963. The review of these articles provides a context for looking at Philip Zimbardo’s Sanford Prison Experiment (1973) and a critique of that experiment which led to my re-reading Hannah Arendt. This article continues an exploration of my efforts (Morehouse, 2012; Morehouse, 2015; Morehouse et al, 2019) at integrating some elements of psychology and philosophy with the goal of deepening understanding of contemporary issues.
Keywords: Reflections, Social Psychology, Hannah Arendt
How to cite this article:
Richard E. Morehouse.Reflections on Social Psychology while reading Hannah Arendt. International Journal of Psychological Research and Reviews, 2020, 3:28. DOI: 10.28933/ijprr-2019-01-0705
1. Arendt, H. (1958) The Human Condition, Chicago: University of Chicago Press
2. Arendt, H. (1973). The Origins of Totalitarianism. 1951. San Diego and New York.
3. Arendt, H., & Kroh, J. (1964). Eichmann in Jerusalem (p. 240). New York: Viking Press.
4. Aronson, E. (1996). The Social Animal. Psyccritiques, 41(2).
5. Arendt, H., Jaspers, K., Köhler, L., & Saner, H. (1992). Hannah Arendt/Karl Jaspers Correspondence, 1926-1969.
6. Asch, S. E. (1955). Opinions and social pressure. Scientific American, 193(5), 31-35.
7. Haney, C., Banks, C., & Zimbardo, P. (1973). Study of prisoners and guards in a simulated prison. Naval research reviews, 26(9), 1-17.
8. Haslam, S. A., Reicher, S. D., & Van Bavel, J. J. (2019). Rethinking the nature of cruelty: The role of identity leadership in the Stanford Prison Experiment. American Psychologist.
9. Maykut, P. & Morehouse, R. (1994) Beginning qualitative research: a philosophical and practice guide. London: Falmer Press.
10. Milgram, S. (1963). Behavioral study of obedience. The Journal of abnormal and social psychology, 67 (4), 371.
11. Morehouse, R. (2012). Beginning interpretative inquiry” A step-by-step approach to research and evaluation. London: Routledge.
12. Morehouse, R. (2015) A case for Psychology ads a Human science, J. Psychol Psychiary 2 (6) 00096, DOI: 10.15406/pcpy.2015.02 00096
13. Morehouse, R., Visse, M., Singer-Towns, B., Vitec, J. 92019) Juggling the many voices inside: what it means to be an emerging adult. International Journal of Psychological Research and Review.2:13.
14. Villa, D. (1999). Politics, philosophy, terror: essays on the thought of Hannah Arendt. Princeton University Press.
15. Zimbardo, P. G. (1983). Mind control: Political fiction and psychological reality. On nineteen eighty-four, 197-215.
This work and its PDF file(s) are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.