Making Evil

The Science Behind Humanity’s Dark Side

Making Evil by Julia Shaw (Paperback ISBN 9781786891327) book cover

Available as Paperback, eBook, Downloadable audio

How to understand the deviance that lies in ourselves and others – an original and rigorous exploration of the darkest recesses of the human mind

Are you evil?

A smart and highly readable exploration of why we think and do bad things.

Dr Julia Shaw shows us that the same dispositions that make us capable of heinous crimes may also work to our advantage. And, if evil is within all of us, should it be said to exist at all?

In Making Evil, Shaw uses a compelling mix of science, popular culture and real life examples to break down timely and important issues. How similar is your brain to a psychopath’s? How many people have murder fantasies? Can A.I. be evil? Do your sexual proclivities make you a bad person? Who becomes a terrorist?

This is a wide-ranging exploration into a fascinating, darkly compelling subject.

“Julia Shaw has crafted a brilliant panorama that elucidates humanity’s dark side in her masterpiece, Making Evil. This science-based foundation for studying the minds of sadists, mass murderers, freaks and creeps, as well the new role of tech in promoting evil is presented in a totally engaging fashion”
Philip Zimbardo, Author Of The Lucifer Effect

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“Warmly, chattily written … Shaw draws knowledgeably on psychological and neuroscientific research”

“Most of it is unsettling, shocking or disturbing. It’s also rational, intelligent and necessary … fascinating and convincing”

“A book that will provide you with the kind of anecdotes I cherish, but will make you a terrifying date on”
the Times

“If you are interested in evil, the science behind evil, there are so many studies contained within this book … a very entertaining book about evil”
bbc Radio 5

Dr Julia Shaw is a scientist in the Department of Psychology at University College London (UCL). Her academic work, teaching and role as an expert witness have focused on different ways of understanding criminal behaviour. Dr Shaw has consulted as an expert on criminal cases, delivered police-training and military workshops, and has evaluated offender diversion programmes. She is also the co-founder of Spot, a start-up that helps employees report workplace harassment and discrimination, and employers take action. Her work has been featured in outlets such as CNN, the BBC, the New Yorker, WIRED, Forbes, the Guardian and Der Spiegel. She is the co-host of the podcast Bad People.
@drjuliashaw |

A rather brilliant trailer for the rather brilliant Making Evil: The science behind humanity’s dark side.

Narration by Dr. Julia Shaw. Direction/Animation: Jocie Juritz. Colouring: Anjuna Harper & Natasha Pollack. Sound/Music: Thomas Williams.