Dr. Philip Zimbardo

Philip Zimbardo is one of the most distinguished living psychologists, having served as President of the American Psychological Association, designed and narrated the award winning 26-part PBS series, Discovering Psychology, and published more than 50 books and 400 articles and chapters.

 Schmid College is excited to announce that renowned social psychologist Dr. Philip Zimbardo will be on campus Thursday, February 20, 2014, to give a lecture about his work and receive his honorary doctor of science degree from Chapman University.

During Zimbardo’s 2011 visit to Chapman University, he spoke about his journey from understanding evil to inspiring heroism. He shared his insights from his role as Warden in the famous Stanford Prison Study, which asked, 

“What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph?” 

“Give me a bad situation and a good person- and the bad situation wins every time,” Zimbardo declared. However, he also proposed that by understanding the equal propensity toward good and evil, we can lessen the power a bad situation has over the behavior of the people in it. He explained how the small actions we take each day to benefit others can create a better, more positive future.  

From Negative to Positive

Zimbardo’s organization, Heroic Imagination Project (HIP), represents the changed focus of his research from negative to positive social influences. Earlier in his career, he focused on negative forms of social influence like conformity, obedience, and “the bystander effect”. His work with HIP tries to understand “everyday heroism and the psychology of personal and social growth.” The organization’s website describes its work as,

“[translating] the extensive research findings of social psychology and related fields into meaningful insights and tools that individuals can use in their everyday lives to transform negative situations and create positive change. “


Zimbardo is also Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University. Since 1968, he has taught large lectures in Introductory Psychology- reportedly one of the most popular courses at Stanford- with typical class sizes of 300, though sometimes as many as 1,000 students. Additionally, Zimbardo is the co-author of Psychology and Life, a textbook used in many American undergraduate psychology courses.

Mark your calendars: Dr. Zimbardo’s dynamic lecture will be one you don’t want to miss.

Thursday, February 20, 2014
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
George H. W. Bush Conference Center, Beckman Hall, Room 404*
Chapman University, One University Drive, Orange, CA