Philip Zimbardo

The Naked and the TED
August 02, 2012

TED Talks are more popular than ever. They're also more vapid, bland, and fraudulent.

The READ: Washed Up
October 06, 2010

The more I watch “Jersey Shore,” the more it reminds me of the Stanford Prison Experiment, that notorious episode in 1971 when psychologist Philip Zimbardo selected a group of normal college students and assigned them randomly to act as either prisoners or guards in a mock jail. After only a few days, the “guards” turned cruel and sadistic, and the “prisoners” began to break down mentally. Zimbardo, confronted with this ethical conundrum, was compelled to terminate his experiment early. MTV has different standards.

The Thin Line
May 21, 2007

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil By Philip Zimbardo (Random House, 551 pp., $27.95) WHY DO human beings commit despicable acts? One answer points to individual dispositions; another answer emphasizes situational pressures. In 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stressed the importance of individual dispositions in describing terrorists as “simply evil people who want to kill.” Situationists reject this view. They believe that horrible acts can be committed by perfectly normal people.