Psychology of evil

If you were to ask a random person on the street whether they are inherently good or evil, what do you think they would say? Better yet, if someone were to ask you this question, how would you respond? Can a good person be guilty of carrying out evil deeds? If we deeply contemplate these questions, coming to accurate conclusions may be much more complicated than it first appears.

The human condition is inherently complex. Philosophers and psychologists have long struggled to both conceptualize what it means to be “evil” and to explain the factors that lead to evil deeds. The primary aim of this course is to introduce you to the science behind the dark side of humanity. The psychology of evil will be explored through different viewpoints: the person, the situation, and the relationship between the person and the situation. You will learn about the research on personality factors linked to evil, situational pressures that persuade people to act immorally, and how people are susceptible to these influences. After completing this course, you will have obtained an in-depth understanding of how evil is conceptualized, what leads some people to be perceived as evil, and how good people can commit evil acts.

   519 students completed this course

   93% recommend it to other students

   Teacher: Psychology Insights Online


Start Course


93% of students recommend

  “A great course that gave me a better insight into how and why, a lot of people act and do the things they do.”

  “A comprehensive course which provides in-depth knowledge on the theories surrounding the concepts of Evil. Highly recommended.”

  “Straight and to the point. There would be more willing students if school courses were like this.”


Course plan

Lesson 1. What is Evil?
Lesson 2. Born to Be Bad?
Lesson 3. Machiavellianism
Lesson 4. Narcissism
Lesson 5. Psychopathy
Lesson 6. Sadism
Lesson 7. Conflict Between Groups: The Robber’s Cave Experiment
Lesson 8. Evil Situations: The Role of Deindividuation
Lesson 9. Conformity and Obedience
Lesson 10. Dealing with Dispositional and Situational Evil
+ Quiz



Starting tomorrow, you will receive a new lesson straight to your inbox every morning for 10 days. Lessons take just 5 minutes to read, and each course is followed by fun, knowledge-testing quiz.



Highbrow teaches you something new every day. As you sip your morning coffee and rub the sleep from your eyes, Highbrow delivers a short, 5-minute email lesson to help you learn anything from art and philosophy, to business and personal development.

Join Highbrow and get unlimited access to our entire catalog of 250+ courses created by world renowned experts. With Highbrow you’ll never run out of new things to learn.

First 30 days are free. Cancel anytime. → Learn more about membership


  • Format
    One lesson delivered via email daily
  • Duration
    10 days
  • Time
    5 minutes reading a day

Related Courses