An original and scientifically rigorous exploration of the darkest recesses of the human mind.
Darkness lurks in all of us. If not all of us do evil, we all contemplate it. What can science teach us about why humans think and do bad things? And what do our reactions to deviance teach us about ourselves?
Dr. Julia Shaw, a criminal psychologist, deals with the question of evil constantly. She comes from a world where people hunt monsters; where the police, lawyers and the public collectively take to their pitchforks and search for threats to society. In Making Evil, she uses the latest scientific research to offer a more enlightened and nuanced explanation for why people behave so badly and how we can prevent evil acts by understanding more profoundly how such acts come about—and what truly makes us evil.
Drawing together science, psychology and philosophy, Dr. Shaw grapples with thorny dilemmas from “Would I kill baby Hitler?” to “Why do I want to murder my spouse?” to give a better understanding of the world, yourself and your Google search history.
"Curious readers will be riveted by Shaw's deliberate, rational discussions of such taboos as cyberbullying, homicide, pedophilia and the ways money and power corrupt the souls of formerly good men and women. . . . A consistently fascinating journey into the darker sides of the human condition that will push on the boundaries of readers' comfort zones." —Kirkus Reviews
"Shaw presents a stimulating and provocative challenge to the traditional meaning of evil." —Library Journal
"Evil covers a wide range of subjects, from the creepiness of clowns and collectors to sexual deviance to the dark side of tech. Shaw undermines long-held beliefs about the universality of moral judgments for certain acts with more recent research, such as the supposed connection between testosterone and aggression. Her primary theme is that the concepts of violence and evil are much more complex than we realize, and before we judge we must always consider the context. . . . Provocative." —Psychology Today
"Julia Shaw has crafted a brilliant panorama that elucidates humanity's dark side in her masterpiece, Evil. This science-based foundation for studying the minds of sadists, mass murderers, freaks and creeps, as well the new role of tech in promoting evil is presented in a totally engaging fashion." —Philip Zimbardo, author of The Lucifer Effect
About the Author:
Dr. JULIA SHAW is the author of the international bestselling popular science book The Memory Illusion and a senior lecturer and researcher in the Department of Law and Social Sciences at London South Bank University. Her academic work, teaching and role as an expert witness focus on different ways of understanding criminal behaviour. Dr. Shaw regularly works as an expert witness in various jurisdictions to advise on historical sexual abuse and murder cases. She has delivered training workshops for the police and military and given guest lectures at business conferences and universities around the world. Her work has been featured in such outlets as the Discovery Channel, the BBC, CNN, NPR, Der Spiegel, Russia Today, The Times of London and New York Magazine. A Canadian citizen, Dr. Shaw has a BA from Simon Fraser University and a PhD from the University of British Columbia.