Monday, 20 June 2016

Zimbardo Stanford Prison Experiment Materials Now Online

A while back I blogged about Professor Philip Zimbardo and his research and great work around post traumatic stress disorder. In his work in this area, Zimbardo has come up with a new theory of time - the Time Paradox (UK) (or US) - as well as a Personal Time Perspective Inventory which has been quite helpful to my coachees to get a better sense of "what may be".

Zimbardo
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.

"But I just did what any other person would have done under those circumstances"

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!