Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more

Professor Philip Zimbardo - Program Board

Stanford Professor, Founder of Heroic Imagination Project

PHILIP ZIMBARDO, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, is internationally

recognized as an innovative researcher in many areas of social psychology, as well as an

award-winning distinguished teacher, writer, and media personality. Born (3/23/33) in

New York City’s South Bronx ghetto, of poor Sicilian, uneducated parents, Zimbardo

was the first in the history of his family to go to college (Brooklyn College, graduated

Summa Cum Laude, with honors in Psychology and Sociology/ Anthropology, 1954),

and received an MS. (1955), and Ph.D. from Yale University (1959). He has taught at

Yale, Barnard College, Columbia, N.Y.U. (From 1960-67), and, since 1968 has been a

professor at Stanford University. Zimbardo has given invited lectures in major

universities throughout the U.S. and the world. He is currently President of the American

Psychological Association.

·      His textbook, Psychology and Life, 16th edition (Allyn & Bacon) co-author

Richard Gerry, is the oldest, continuously selling text in all of psychology.

·      His best-selling popular book, Shyness: What it is, What to do about it (Addison-

Wesley), is currently in its 6th printing, and translated into 10 languages.

·      He has published more than 250 professional and technical articles and over 40

books, texts, workbooks and manuals. (see

·      Zimbardo has become the voice and image of psychology through the 26 episodes

of the PBS TV series, Discovering Psychology, which he created, wrote and

narrated, and which is now a staple in most college and high school courses

across the United States and in ten countries worldwide. The series was updated

in 2001.

·      His infamous Stanford Prison Experiment (1971) is a classic in the demonstration

of the power of situational forces to overwhelm ordinary, good people. His video

of that study, “Quiet Rage,” is a powerful, prize-winning documentary of this

unique experiment in which students played the roles of prisoners and guards in a

simulated prison that became all too real and had to be terminated a week earlier

than planned. (see

·      His article on the “Social Disease of Shyness” in Psychology Today, 1975, started

many researchers investigating shyness in adults, which previously had been

studied only in children. This research enterprise, known as the Stanford Shyness

·      Project, was honored with a special symposium on Shyness research and therapy

at the convention of the American Psychological Association.

·      Zimbardo’s pioneering treatment for shyness has continued for 25 years at a

community shyness clinic in Stanford, California (co-directed with Dr. Lynne

Henderson). (see

·      His current research interests continue to be broad: cults, hypnosis, violence,

the social and cognitive basis of madness, and the psychology of time perspective.

·      Zimbardo continues to teach popular large undergraduate courses and seminars,

along with graduate courses and practicums in teaching.