Avani Mehta Sood

Was revenge a hidden rationale for torture?

Avani Mehta Sood writes for Los Angeles Times, December 23, 2014

Although 96% of U.S. respondents surveyed say that coercive techniques should be used only to retrieve information that could prevent future harm, I have found that people are actually more likely to endorse the use of harsh interrogation if they think the target “deserves” to be punished.

Does desire for revenge explain CIA practice of severe interrogation?

Avani Mehta Sood and Kevin Carlsmith study cited in The Huffington Post, December 15, 2014

Kevin Carlsmith and Avani Mehta Sood argue that the effectiveness of torture, as measured in terms of genuine intelligence collected, may in fact not be the key issue at all. Instead, much more important might be the desire to harm those who have attacked us (or those who are associated with them), and humiliate those who have made us feel vulnerable.