Philip Zimbardo - Other Endeavors

Other Endeavors

After the prison experiment, Zimbardo decided to look for ways he could use psychology to help people; this led to the founding of The Shyness Clinic in Menlo Park, California, which treats shy behavior in adults and children. Zimbardo's research on shyness resulted in several bestselling books on the topic. Other subjects he has researched include mind control and cultic behavior.

Zimbardo is the co-author of an introductory Psychology textbook entitled Psychology and Life, which is used in many American undergraduate psychology courses. He also hosted a PBS TV series titled Discovering Psychology which is used in many college telecourses.

In 2002, Zimbardo was elected president of the American Psychological Association. Under his direction, the organization developed the website PsychologyMatters.org, a compendium of psychological research that has applications for everyday life. Also that year, he appeared in the British reality television show, The Human Zoo. Participants were observed inside a controlled setting while Zimbardo and a British psychologist analyzed their behavior.

In 2004, Zimbardo testified for the defense in the court martial of Sgt. Ivan "Chip" Frederick, a guard at Abu Ghraib prison. He argued that Frederick's sentence should be lessened due to mitigating circumstances, explaining that few individuals can resist the powerful situational pressures of a prison, particularly without proper training and supervision. The judge apparently disregarded Zimbardo's testimony, and gave Frederick the maximum 8-year sentence. Zimbardo drew on the knowledge he gained from his participation in the Frederick case to write a new book entitled, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, about the connections between Abu Ghraib and the prison experiments.

In September 2006, Zimbardo joined the faculty at Palo Alto University as Professor of Psychology, where he teaches social psychology to doctoral students in the clinical psychology program.

Zimbardo's writing appeared in Greater Good Magazine, published by the Greater Good Science Center of the University of California, Berkeley. Zimbardo's contributions include the interpretation of scientific research into the roots of compassion, altruism, and peaceful human relationships. His most recent article with Greater Good magazine is entitled: "The Banality of Heroism", which examines how ordinary people can become everyday heroes. In February 2010, Zimbardo was a guest presenter at the Science of a Meaningful Life seminar: Goodness, Evil, and Everyday Heroism, along with Greater Good Science Center Executive Director Dacher Keltner.

Zimbardo, who officially retired in 2003, gave his final "Exploring Human Nature" lecture on March 7, 2007, on the Stanford campus, bringing his teaching career of 50 years to a close. David Spiegel, professor of psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine, called Zimbardo "a legendary teacher", saying that "he has changed the way we think about social influences."

Though retired, Zimbardo still conducts research at Stanford University and teaches one class at the former Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, now Palo Alto University.

Zimbardo has made appearances on American TV, such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on March 29, 2007, The Colbert Report on February 11, 2008 and Dr. Phil on October 25, 2010.

Zimbardo is currently heading a movement for everyday heroism as the founder and director of The Heroic Imagination Project (HIP), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting heroism in everyday life. The project is currently collecting data from former American gang members and former individuals with ties to terrorism for comparison, in an attempt to better understand how individuals change violent behavior. This research portion of the project is co-headed by Dr. Rony Berger, Dr. Yotam Heineburg, and Dr. Leonard Beckum. He published an article contrasting heroism and altruism in 2011 with Dr. Zeno Franco and Kathy Blau in the Review of General Psychology.

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