We React to Zimbardo

Originally published at: https://www.psychtechpodcast.com/episode-17-we-react-to-zimbardo/

#17: Phillip Zimbardo, the psychologist famous for the Stanford Prison Experiment, went on BBC television to promote his new book about video games and psychological well-being. It was not pretty. Thankfully, psychologist Andrew Przybylski was also there acting as the voice of empirical reason. This week, Kelli and Josué react to the interview.

I watch this episode some time ago. Its a big thing for me because one of my first role models in the field of mental health was Zimbardo. As a teen I idealized him, I remember buying The Lucifer Effect and struggling to read it because the text is so tiny and the book is so comprehensive. He introduced me to the idea of how power functions to dehumanize a person and perpetuate crime as well as how these power structures are maintained by institutions. I remember poring through his books in true fanboy fashion.

When I heard he did a TED conference in 2011 I was excited to find out what it was all about. Suddenly he started talking about how masculinity is endangered and how video games are a clear culprit. Zimbardo was my first fallen hero and a lesson on why even authorities in various fields must be questioned and debated constantly. It’s a topic that really resonates w me.


I am currently reading ‘moral combat’ and it mentions how Zimbardo did this BBC episode, and the BBC is typically a decent channel here in the UK. Zimbardo was APA president back in 2002, and the APA initially released some very poor research regarding violence and video games, which were basically questionnaires with horribly worded, loaded questions turned into subjective, bias research papers; so of course he has an agenda aligned with APA who from my understanding just want to secure funds for research and are anti video games. I respected Zimbardo hugely up until reading this information he supported, and clearly he doesn’t play video games like alot of the people presenting this information.

BTW - Good read, 'moral combat: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31213161-moral-combat