|Zimbardo speaking in Warsaw 2009|
Just recently I discovered that Prof Zimbardo has made materials from the infamous "Stanford Prison Experiment" available online. Despite having first learned about the "prisoners and wardens" experiment during a university psychology module years ago, and learned about many other psychological experiments since then, the write-up and photos are still quite a shocking account of what happened during those 6 days (out of the planned 2 weeks) before the experiment was terminated early due to how quickly things got out of hand.
It's well worth the read-through, as well as watching the movie clips. It really is amazing what a system can do, and does do, to ordinary people. And as for uniforms and other physical associations. Wow.
And just when it might become grim and depressing, Zimbardo offers us all hope and salvation from the very human condition of life - his Ted Talk on Psychology of Evil. We need to celebrate heroism - the rise of the ordinary normal person who takes heroic action in the space where others are frozen.
Maybe, maybe not.
Anyway, Zimbardo for me, is a truly an amazing mind and life story with amazing benefits for humanity! For a little self-help/coaching for yourself and more detail, see my earlier Zimbardo time perspective assessment post!