Do It! Do It!
In class right now, we are studying the ethical implications of some classic psychological experiments . . . Milgram, Asch, and Stanford prison -- and the main lesson from these is that humans can be quite obedient -- whether to a group or an authority figure or social pressure-- once we are put into a "state of agency" . . . and so it was hard to totally blame my son (though he suffered some consequences) for what happened on the bus ride home from his class trip on Friday: he had picked up a bottle cap, as boys are wont to do, and brought it in the bus, and some girl had the bright idea that he should throw it out the window and the other students started chanting "Do it! Do it!" and so he did it.