Punished by proxy

I have just found a brief note I wrote down on July 9, 2011. It is a very interesting topic I planned to explore in the future; unfortunately, I’ve totally forgotten about it. Here it is:

“Are humans more inclined to let a third party punish individuals that do not observe the common behavior standards?” I have not found any research proving this, but the Stanford Experiment and the Abu-Ghraib scandal (tortured and abused prisoners) seem to suggest such a conclusion. Imagine this: someone was brutalized and humiliated by a school bully in such a manner anyone else would find it impossible to bear. Although he would accept to punish the bully directly if it was possible, the punish would be worse if a third party was the punisher and not himself.

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