News & Events
February 19, 2010
UNC Asheville will host a talk by internationally recognized psychology scholar and media personality Philip Zimbardo at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, at UNC Asheville's Reuter Center. In his talk, "The Lucifer Effect in Action: My Journey from Evil to Heroism," Zimbardo will discuss his study of how high pressure situations can force good people to do bad things. Zimbardo will also explain ways in which people can resist these forces, commit heroic acts and leave a legacy of personal goodness. A book signing will follow the lecture. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required but parking and seating will be limited.
Zimbardo has served as a psychology professor at Stanford University since 1968, having taught previously at Yale University, New York University and Columbia University. He has performed research in a variety of areas, including terrorism, shyness, madness and hypnosis. He rose to notoriety in 1971 when he conducted the "Stanford Prison Experiment," which demonstrated the power of social situations to distort personal identities and morality. Volunteer college students internalized and acted on their roles as prisoners and guards to such a level that the experiment had to be ended early. Zimbardo later used the surprising results of this research to analyze the Abu Ghraib incident, which he discussed on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" in 2007. The following year, he explained his theory of this "Lucifer Effect" on "The Colbert Report."
Zimbardo is the author of a variety of scholarly and popular texts, including the recent books, "The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life" and "The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil." He also produced and starred in the widely distributed "Discovering Psychology" video course. He has received a number of awards and has served as president of the American Psychology Association. Following his visit at UNC Asheville, Zimbardo will speak at the United Nations.
For more information, contact UNC Asheville's Psychology Department at 828/251-6422 or click on www.unca.edu/psychology.