The fall movie I've been anticipating the most isn't the film about a man stranded across the gulf of space, but the one about the gulf between the moral people we wish we were and the reality of human behavior. That's a terrible sentence, but I'm leaving it there because it illustrates the gulf between the writer I'd like to be and the one I am.
I'm talking about Experimenter, a film about the research of Stanley Milgram, the social scientist famous for inducing his test subjects to administer severe electrical shocks (they thought) to a human subject, merely by exerting some mild social pressure from an authority figure. If you haven't seen the actual films of the experiments, they are pretty amazing.
Most people, when told about this experiment, assert that they would be among the few who resisted pressure to continue an increasingly inhumane and dangerous experiment, and did the right thing by stopping. Most of those people are wrong. Their (our) blindness to our own moral pliability makes us more likely to be manipulated into immoral acts. In You're Not as Virtuous as You Think, Nitin Nohria argues for "moral humility," in which we recognize our susceptibility to moral influence as a first step to becoming more decent human beings.