The Moral Psychology of Evil: A Roadmap

Tom R. Hanauer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the construct of evil from the perspective of moral psychology. The chapter first discusses contemporary theories of evil and common misconceptions about evil. The chapter then draws on examples from social psychology in order to examine the psychological and situational causes of evil actions. The relation between trauma and evil is then explored with an emphasis on Primo Levi’s account of Auschwitz and the concept of the “gray zone.” Finally, the chapter discusses the nature and possibility of healing and reconciliation (“moral repair”) after evil has been done.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrauma Counseling Theories and Interventions for Managing Trauma, Stress, Crisis, and Disaster
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherSpringer Publishing Company
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780826150851
ISBN (Print)9780826150844
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


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