Zimbardo has been a Stanford University professor since 1968 (now an Emeritus Professor), having taught previously at Yale, NYU, and Columbia University. He continues teaching graduate students at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, and at the Naval Post Graduate School (Monterey). He has been given numerous awards and honors as an educator, researcher, writer, and service to the profession. Recently, he was awarded the Havel Foundation Prize for his lifetime of research on the human condition. Among his more than 300 professional publications and 50 books is the oldest current textbook in psychology, Psychology and Life, now in its 18th Edition, and Core Concepts in Psychology in its 5th Edition.
His current research interests continue in the domain of social psychology, with a broad emphasis on everything interesting to study from shyness to time perspective, madness, cults, vandalism, political psychology, torture, terrorism, and evil. Noted for his personal and professional efforts to actually 'give psychology away to the public', Zimbardo has also been a social-political activist, challenging the Government's wars in Vietnam and Iraq, as well as the American Correctional System. Zimbardo has served as elected President of the Western Psychological Association (twice), President of the American Psychological Association, the Chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP) representing 63 scientific, math and technical associations (with 1.5 million members), and now is Chair of the Western Psychological Foundation. He heads a philanthropic foundation in his name to promote education in his ancestral Sicilian towns. Zimbardo adds to his retirement list activities: serving as the new executive director of a center on terrorism, the Center for Interdisciplinary Policy, Education, and Research on Terrorism (CIPERT).
He is most excited by the publication of his most important contribution: The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (Random House, 2007).
Honors and Awards
Consultations and Boards
International Invited Addresses, Workshops, Presentations
Conventions and Associations
International Congress of Psychology (in Bonn, London, Tokyo, Mexico City, Brussels, Stockholm); International Congress of Applied Psychology, International Social Psychology Conference (in Majorca, Spain, and Budapest); Canadian Psychological Association, Japanese Psychological Association, Japanese Social Psychological Association, German Psychological Society, Greek Psychological Association, Spanish Social Psychological Association, European Association of Experimental Social Psychology, European Association of Personality Psychology, World Congress on Eclectic Hypnotherapy in Psychology (Ixtapa), International Conference on Time (San Marino, Italy); International Convention on Shyness and Self Consciousness (Cardiff, Wales), Mexican Psychological Society, Cammarata, Sicily Conference on Italian-American Culture Confrontations,
University of Salamanca, University of Barcelona; The Sorbonne; University of Paris (Ecole des Hautes Etudes), University of Rome, University of Bologna, Catholic University of Milan, University of Naples, University of Parma; Oxford University, East London University, Central London University, University of Cardiff, Open University-Birmingham, England; University of Thessalonika, University of Athens; University of Louvain; Hamburg University; Tokyo University, Kyoto University, Okinawa University, Osaka University; University of Sao Paolo, University of Rio de Janeiro; Guanajuato University; University of British Columbia, Calgary University, University of Alberta, Toronto University, McGill University, University of New Foundland; Chinese University of Hong Kong, Deree College, (Athens), Webster University (Vienna), Advanced School of Social Psychology (Warsaw), State University of Moscow, St. Petersburg University (Russia)
Domestic Lectures, Workshops, Presentations
Conventions and Associations
American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, Eastern Psychological Association, Western Psychological Association, Midwestern Psychological Association, South Eastern Psychological Association, Rocky Mountain Psychological Association, New England Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Ortho-psychiatric Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, New York Academy of Sciences, Society for Experimental Social Psychology, Federation of Behavioral, Cognitive and Social Sciences, Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, National Conference on Law Enforcement, Smithsonian Institute, Annenberg Foundation, American Association of Behavior Therapy, Anxiety Disorders Association of America, California School of Professional Psychology (Fresno and Berkeley), Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, Eriksonian Conference on New Developments in Therapy, National Conference on Teaching, Texas Junior College Convention. Veteran's Administration Hospital Psychology Programs in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, CA., Bronx, NY, Society for Research in Child Development, California Psychological Association, Midwest Institute for Teachers of Psychology.
Colleges, High Schools
University of Virginia Visiting Scholar (lectured at VMI, Virginia Tech, George Mason, William & Mary Colleges); University of California: at Berkeley, Davis, La Jolla, Los Angeles, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco (Extension Program), San Francisco (Langley Porter Institute); California State University: at Fresno, Long Beach, San Diego, San Marino, Sonoma; Claremont-McKenna College, Claremont College, Cal Tech, University of Southern California, San Francisco State University, College of San Mateo, Foothill College, D'Anza College, NYU, Columbia University, Yeshiva University, New School for Social Research, Queens College, Hunter College, Brooklyn College, Lehman College, City University of New York, Einstein Medical School, West Point Military Academy, University of Vermont, Dartmouth College, Cornell University, Harvard University, Boston University, Wesleyan University, Yale University, Brandies University, MIT, Pennsylvania University, Temple University, St. Joseph's University, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Montclair State College, University of Delaware, Emory University, Pittsburgh University, University of Cincinnati, Duke University, North Carolina University, University of Florida, Broward Community College, Baton Rouge College, LSU, University of Texas (Austin), Sam Houston Community College, University of Houston, Texas Tech University (Lubbock), McNeese State College, Arkansas University, University of Northern Arizona, Arizona State University, Arizona University, Michigan University, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois- Chicago, St. Louis University, Oregon University, Washington University, University of Central Washington, University of Eastern Washington, Chemmetkita College (Washington), University of Hawaii (Manoa Campus), Central Oklahoma University, University of Puget Sound, Reed College, University of South Carolina, Claremont Graduate School, California State University, Long Beach, Ohio State University, Devry University, College of DuPage, Holy Names College, Baldwin Wallace (Harrington Distinguished Lecturer), Temple University (Uriel Foa Distinguished Lecturer), Tufts University, Phillips Graduate Institute, Gallaudet College, Montgomery C.C., St. George’s C.C. (Maryland), Tidewater C.C. (Virginia), Hampton College (Norfolk, VA)
Jordan Junior High School (Palo Alto), Crittenden Middle School (Mountain View), Lick-Wilmerding High School (S.F.), Lincoln High School (S.F.), Gunn High School (Palo Alto), Loudin County High School (Virginia), Walt Whitman High School, (Bethesda, Maryland), Eastchester, High School (New York), Mother Teresa High School (Cammarata, Sicily).
Non-Academic Lectures, Presentations
Commonwealth Club (San Francisco), Comstock Club (Sacramento), IBM, Maritz Corporation, Xerox Corporation, New Orleans Chamber of Congress, Harper Collins Publisher, Scott Foresman Publisher, National College Textbook Publishers Conference, Lucas Arts (Industrial Light and Magic Company), George Lucas Workshop on Creativity, Local PTA Groups, Prison Reform Groups, Peace Group Associations (New York and California).
Media Presentations (TV and Radio)
"Discovering Psychology" Series, 26 episodes shown nationally on PBS and Internationally in 10 Countries (from 1989 to Present), The Today Show, Good Morning America, 20/20, Night Line, and The Phil Donahue Show (each several times), That's Incredible, Not For Women Only, To Tell The Truth, Tom Snyder Show, Charlie Rose Show, NBC Chronolog, People Are Talking, AM and Late Night TV Shows in NYC, LA, Chicago, Seattle, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Boston, Vancouver; Canadian Broadcasting Company, BBC, CNN, National Public Radio, KGO Radio, Live 105 San Francisco Radio, Milt Rosenberg Radio Interview Program (Chicago), Italian TV-RAI (Shyness Program on Quark), Stanford Television Network, The Discovery Channel Program on Torture. 60 Minutes, and, London Weekend TV/ Discovery Channel program on the “Human Zoo.” Only Human, NBC/Discovery Channel.
Interviewer/On Stage Conversation Series
The joys of psychology have come from blending teaching, research, and applications of psychological knowledge as my basic career goals. I love to teach and have done it extensively and intensively for nearly 50 years, trying to communicate what we know and how we know it to the next generation of citizens and psychologists. But my training as a research psychologist has prepared me to take much delight in contributing to the basic knowledge about how the mind and behavior work in social settings. Publishing that information is not only essential to career advancement, but to sharing with colleagues and the public these new ideas. Finally, it has always been a central goal for me academically and personally to “give psychology away” to the public, to the media, and to those who could use it in ways that enhance the human condition. I like to think of myself as a social change agent--able to use my experience, training, and insights as a psychologist to make a difference in the lives of many people. I have been willing to take public positions in opposition to my government’s positions on the Vietnam War, the preemptive war against Iraq, and its policies regarding torture of civilians captured and detained in the “war against terrorism: —as a loyal, patriotic dissident.
The year 2007 marks my golden anniversary of 50 years as an educator, having completed six decades of teaching Introductory Psychology.
I began teaching in 1957 as a part-time instructor at Yale, in charge of a class of 25 freshmen in Introductory Psychology, and continued this wonderful experience for several more years until my first full-time appointment as assistant professor at New York University, Heights Campus in the Bronx. That was teaching in the raw: 12 semester courses a year, including summer school, all lecture courses, including 3 large Introductory Psychology courses per year. Living in New York on semi-starvation wages forced me to add a 13th course for several years, moonlighting up at Yale, teaching the Psychology of Learning to master’s level students in the Education School, and another year teaching Social Psychology at Barnard College. Some years I taught summer school at Stanford, in Louvain, Belgium, and Lugano, Switzerland.
I love to teach large lecture classes where I am on the “performing center,” doing demonstrations, class experiments, and integrating novel AV materials, but it is more challenging to be intimately connected to students in seminars where I learn from our interaction. In addition to this in-class teaching, I have always mentored students in individual study, undergraduate honors research, and thesis research of masters and doctoral students.
Another dimension of teaching for me has been to develop teaching materials, and course supplements that make teaching both more effective and easier. To this end, I have not only written many basic texts and primers in Introductory and Social Psychology, but pioneered the new breed of Instructor’s Manual that helps teachers with every aspect of course preparation and curriculum design. I have also developed Student Guides and Workbooks, and a variety of demonstrations and AV resources for teachers. Among the later are: the “Discovering Psychology” PBS - video series of 26 programs covering all of general psychology, “Candid Camera Classics,” one for Introductory and another for Social Psychology courses (with teacher’s manuals for each), “Quiet Rage,” the video documentary of the Stanford Prison Experiment, and a public web site slide show of my experiment
Since its inception in 1989 to 2006, a half a million people in Tele-Courses have received full credit for Introductory Psychology by passing a standard test based on the “Discovering Psychology: video series and a basic textbook. For me, that represents an ideal in “outreach teaching.”
Another dimension of teaching in my career has been training teachers also to discover the joys of teaching by helping them to do their job really well. I regularly give workshops on teaching throughout the country, at professional meetings (APA, APS, WPA, National Conference on Teaching, and others); in many universities and colleges; organize my own workshops at Stanford (for local area teachers at all levels of psychology education), and have given many teaching workshops internationally as well. I also contribute to teaching by training my own teaching associates to become experts through working closely with them in an intensive Practicum in Teaching course, that I innovated in 1960 at NYU, and have developed over the years into a training program that includes undergraduate TAs as well as graduate students. Many of these students have gone on to become distinguished, prize-winning teachers in colleges across the country and in national competitions.
STANFORD TEACHING: I believe that I have taught more students, for more credits, in a greater variety of courses, than any other Full Professor in the history of Stanford University. Since 1968, I have regularly taught large lectures in Introductory Psychology, one of the most popular courses in the University, typically to about 300 students, but have taught this course to as many as 1000 students, and as few as 10 students in a special seminar format with computerized daily interaction on written assignments, in addition to lectures. Unit Mastery Instruction: For several years, I taught about 600 students in a Unit Mastery System with Personalized Instruction that included taking individual testing on each of 18 chapters of the text, and oral exams on an additional reading. Proctors, 200 of them, administered all testing in their dorms separately to each of their 3 students, and met weekly with me to discuss issues relevant to this form of teaching. About 50 other undergraduate teaching assistants worked in pairs to lead their weekly discussion section component of the course.
Practicum in Teaching is a seminar I designed to train graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants to become effective teachers, first by helping them to develop engaging weekly sections that are coordinated with my lecture course, Introductory Psychology, based on original experiments, demonstrations and exercises that I designed and are available in my Instructor’s Manual for this course, In addition, this course is designed to teach students to value the honor of being able to teach and guide them toward successful careers in teaching.
Emeritus Teaching during the years 2004, 2005, and 2006, the university recalled me to teach half time (half salary) for three years. Rather than the typical small seminar or dialogue teaching to a half dozen students, I developed an entirely new lecture course for several hundred undergraduate students, with ten teaching assistants. It was an intensive course that met for 6 hours weekly plus sections, with extended office hours, and four required papers, of which I read and gave detailed feedback on one fourth of each of them. All lectures were new or major improvements on earlier ones using new pedagogy of Keynote and PPT. The course had many unique features that made it the most popular and successful class I have ever taught--Exploring Human Nature: A Life-Changing Experience (2004-2005). In addition, during my final emeritus teaching year at Stanford I developed a new Honors Research course for 21 seniors engaged in developing senior honors theses, over three terms. The course became a “capstone” experience for these outstanding students to develop and exchange their original ideas in a supportive yet regimented intellectual setting.
(I usually have had several undergraduate Honors students working under my direction each year, and also supervise 5 to 20 undergraduates and graduate students doing individual study with me, either in special laboratory projects or independent reading.)
Beyond Stanford Teaching: I have helped to develop and continue to regularly teach a course on The Psychology of Terrorism with colleagues from our terrorist center (CIPERT) at Monterey’s Naval Postgraduate School. Our students are enrolled in a Masters level program within the Department of Homeland Security and represent local city and state governments, the military, police, fire and emergency responder agencies, and others. Over the five years we have taught the course, it has been one of the most highly rated in the curriculum.
My newest teaching is in advanced social psychology directed to clinical graduate students in the Ph.D. and Psy.D. Programs at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (PGSP), where I have been hired as a part-time core faculty member.