Short Biography

Philip Geroge Zimbardo was birth on 23rd March 1993 in America and has created considerable waves in psychology. He is a famous American Psychologist popularly known for his Stanford Prison Experiment. Although after 1971, he was criticized both positively and negatively for his work, he still gained importance in psychology and has also authorized and written various books for college students. He is also the founder of the Heroic Imagination Project, an NGO to promote heroism in everyday life.

early life

Philip Zimbardo’s early life

Zimbardo was born in New York City to Italians from a poor background. Due to his financial status, he was criticized and subjected to prejudice. He was also confused about other races and faced a lot of discrimination, making him more potent over the years and enhancing his interest in minds and behavior.

Zimbardo obtained his triple major BA degree in anthropology, psychology, and sociology in 1954, following which he pursued his master’s and Ph.D. in psychology. At Yale, he also fell in love, married his fellow graduate Rosse Abdelnour, and gave birth to a son, but later divorced her in 1971. Zimbardo worked as a professor at various universities, including New York College in Columbia and Stanford Universities.

Famous Works of Philip Zimbardo

Stanford prison study

Zimbardo conducted the Stanford Prison Experiment in 1971 and took help from the government for his experiment. He selected his college students as participants in his studies. First, a mental screening was conducted among the selected students. Then, based on their behavior, they were given the post of ‘Prisoners’ and ‘guards’ in Stanford University basement, which he called a mock. The main aim of his experiment was to study the psychological effects of students randomly assigned their positions of prisoners and guards. At the end of the study, he observed that situations have a powerful impact on a person’s mind, more than what they can anticipate.

Stanford prison study

Lucifer effect

The Lucifer effect was a response to the Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo believed that a person’s personality and characteristics play a vital role in manifesting their assertive or submissive actions. As a result, he wrote a book called ‘The Lucifer Effect’ in which he stated that a person could not be categorized into good or evil because their behavior depends on the situation’s hand.

Social Intensity Syndrome (SIS)

SIS was a study conducted in 2008 with Sarah Brunskill and Anthony Ferreras, which describes and normalizes the effects of military culture on active soldiers and veterans. Through various techniques like confirmatory factor analysis, component factor analysis, internal consistency, and validation tests, he stated that SIS was a valid construct to study and measure the process of military socialization.

Apart from conducting the above research and studies, Zimbardo was also a part of coining various theories and is a proud author of books based on psychology and his experiments.