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Lisa Trei, News Service (650) 725-0224; e-mail

Psychologist Philip Zimbardo elected APA president for 2002

Stanford psychology Professor Philip Zimbardo has been elected president of the American Psychological Association (APA) for 2002.

Zimbardo has authored more than 200 professional articles, chapters and books representing his interests in topics ranging from exploratory and sexual behavior in rats to persuasion, hypnosis, cults, shyness and madness. He also has had a major impact on psychology through his popular textbooks, notably Psychology and Life, now in its 15th edition.

Zimbardo may be best known, however, for his work on the controversial 1971 Stanford prison experiment in which college students assumed the roles of prison guards and prisoners. The two-week experiment had to be cancelled after only six days because the guards became sadistic and the prisoners became depressed and severely stressed.

Zimbardo has received awards for his writings, teaching and research. The most recent of these include the Phi Beta Kappa Distinguished Teaching Award for Northern California (1998), the Robert Daniels Teaching Excellence Award, Society for the Teaching of Psychology Award (1999) and an APA Presidential Citation for outstanding contributions to psychology for the Discovering Psychology video series produced by WGBH in Boston (1994).

As APA president, Zimbardo says he will offer his experience in research, practice and teaching to provide creative approaches to the changing field of psychology. "I look forward to making APA more vibrant and responsive to the needs of its many constituencies, and to be more open to young psychologists and diverse perspectives," he said. "Furthermore, I would like to increase the mutual respect of psychologists for one another in areas such as practice, education, science and the public interest. Other goals are to make our research and clinical contributions to society more highly visible; to increase the positive image of psychology in the media."

Zimbardo grew up in New York City's South Bronx. He went to Brooklyn College and completed his doctorate at Yale. He has been a faculty member at Yale, New York University and Columbia. He joined Stanford's faculty in 1968.

Zimbardo has taught introductory psychology for four decades. He also teaches at all levels of the university curriculum. He trains his students to become some of the field's most effective teachers through his innovative practicums.

The American Psychological Association, based in Washington, D.C., is the nation's largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology, and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 159,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. It works to advance psychology as a science, profession and means of promoting human welfare.


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