How can psychology explain the atrocious acts of human beings during war times?
If we talk about the true meaning of psychology, it’s mostly an act of reverting to human behaviour. Psychological aspects can be either emotional or physical depending upon the situation we are in. It can also be about something as simple as how we are reacting to the comments made to us. The thing that psychology says is to take everything in a way so that we can work upon ourselves positively. Comments may be negative or positive but how we handle it makes the difference.
Psychology, unlike many other fields of science, tells us how to work upon ourselves and understand our zeal towards anything particular. As humans, we sometimes get confused about who we actually are. We feel perplexed and caught up in mixed emotions, and the question we ask ourselves is, why is it so?
To answer this question psychology became an important asset for today’s society, in which everyone’s life is a rat race and they no longer know how to deal with themselves. Dealing with situations has now become a secondary thing, as humans need to work upon themselves first.
Nowadays, rather than working on ourselves we are likely to see ourselves only in comparison with other human beings. Going for picnics or spending time with our family all have become a secondary means of pleasure for everyone. Talking more about psychology, it has become a subset of science to create an artificial human being, something like a robot. By means of processes such as sex- exchange
An important question is, what is the role of psychology during wars or other controversies which involve shedding blood and taking lives?
Here, psychology helps us in understanding individual and collective behaviour and predicting what step will be taken further. Let’s look at a few examples of this, as learning through actual evidence offers an easy way to articulate facts.
THE Stanford Prison Experiment is the best example of how human psychology adapts to the social and cultural atmosphere in which humans are kept. This experiment was introduced by psychologist Philip Zimbardo and his colleagues to analyze how human psychology works. 24 undergraduate
Talking about the following case studies, the work of psychological intellectuals presents great evidence showing how psychology has the capacity to control a human being.
These abilities are further categorised in the ways in which humans react, and their physical, intellectual and self- conscious abilities. These abilities all depend upon how a person is reacting in different surroundings, including mindfulness with the self. Being mindful with the self increases these abilities, making one stronger with empowerment of the mind. Furthermore, these abilities check the intellectual bandwidth of a human being, not only the factual knowledge but the sensory and emotive knowledge of reaction and feelings, also including the development of verbal senses. But that doesn’t mean one has to be isolated to be with themselves. To be with ourselves we need to have a focus upon ourselves, the sense of development and improvement in us should be maintained along with being social with others. Here, being with ourselves means being on our own, not copying others just because of our insecurities or due to comparisons, as these factors can affect one’s mind negatively and also lead to the development of sensations of jealousy and hatred among each other. Psychological intellectuals work around these things, as once we know how to control it we can take steps to reduce the hatred and jealousy within our society and finally live in peace. Thereby large- scale social disruptions such as wars can also be prevented.
But what about the war with ourselves?
Yes, we also judge ourselves and make ourselves feel that we are ‘less’ skillful and ‘less’ talented. Slowly we start to hate ourselves. This is the worst thing that we do to ourselves. Comparison with a positive attitude and comparison with a sense of competition is different; while the former gives us hopes of betterment, the latter only makes us feel ‘less than’ an ideal.
Hence, it’s important to first learn about ourselves, and our personality which is made unique by God. It’s on us to develop that sense of particularization among us. It’s us who can control both our feelings and our mind. And yes! Our love will make ourselves confident among everyone else in a gathering, hence making us secure individuals who are able to navigate social settings. As the famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle said, “Human beings are social animals.”
We know that we are tamed and
Convincing people about the horrors of war also depends on how we are tackling the situation and introducing different perspectives upon the topic to our subject.
Getting into more depth, studying about psychology and psychological theories have been great fun throughout writing this essay. Milgram’s obedience study was another mind blowing theory that I came across. It tells us about how we will react when we are being controlled by someone. The dynamics of this relationship are those of a master and slave. Once you are being controlled, your brain won’t have any other options except to follow what your master will say. For example, if X is a slave to Y, X has to follow Y no matter how tough the conditions of survival are. Our mind cannot learn by itself, and just to protect itself it will start listening to the person. It’s like being hypnotized while knowing you are controlled. This is what happens in our minds, and this is why Milgram’s study remains one of the most reliable and relatable theories of all time.
Similarly during wars, as per ancient history, this technique was used for employing people in battlefields. A person was not able to control himself and later they had to choose between either fighting or losing their lives. Many people refer to it as black magic, as black magic is all about using psychology in a wrong way. That’s why, to protect ourselves from these sorts of negative psychological rooms, we are suggested to do yoga and meditation to keep our soul and mind strong enough to stop them from falling into such traps.
Our subconscious mind is a powerful force to be reckoned with, as it has the ability to counter these narratives. It’s not our brain that is controlling us, but our mind. Yes! There’s a vast difference between mind and brain, just like the difference between day and night. Mind is our subconscious state which works when it’s needed to, whereas the brain continuously works and commands our body in accordance with our mind.
Wars and lovers are served in the same plate to our mind; now it’s on us to decide how we are letting it control us.