What troubles me is the Internet and the electronic technology revolution. Shyness is fueled in part by so many people spending huge amounts of time alone, isolated on e-mail, in chat rooms, which reduces their face-to-face contact with other people.
Milgram's paradigm of a psychology which explicitly draws its subject into the frame of its own discourse can be said to be the precondition of Zimbardo's claim that his experiment offers a window onto the crucible of human behaviour.
When Zimbardo generalizes from his study to Abu Ghraib, he introduces the concept of The System - "the complex of powerful forces that create the Situation" (p. x)
My interest in the social and personal dynamics of shyness in adults (and later in children) emerged curiously from reflections on the Stanford Prison Experiment, when considering the mentality of the Guard (restricting freedoms) and Prisoner (resisting, but ultimately accepting those restrictions on personal freedom) as dualities in each of us, and notably in the neurotic person and the shy individual.
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.
The first time paradox arises from our assertion that time perspective is one of the most powerful influences on our decisions yet we are typically unaware of its role. The second paradox is that some of these specific time-perspective categories have many good features, but when one category is too heavily favored, its negatives will undercut its virtues. Specifically, the virtues of being Past-Positive, Present-Hedonistic, or Future-Oriented are strong, but only when one doesn't rely too heavily on one time perspective over the others to make decisions.
Imagine now that almost all of your mental decisions are influenced by something else that's going on in your mind but you are totally unaware of it - YOUR BIASED TIME PERSPECTIVE! Time perspective is the psychological term for the process by which each of us sorts out our personal experiences into temporal categories, or time zones. It is one aspect of psychological, or subjective, time that contrasts with objective, or clock, time.
Human behavior is incredibly pliable, plastic.
In the summer of 1971, we set up a mock prison on the Stanford University campus. We took 23 volunteers and randomly divided them into two groups. These were normal young men, students. We asked them to act as “prisoners” and “guards” might in a prison environment. The experiment was to run for two weeks
His Stanford Prison Experiment in 1971, known as the S.P.E. in social science textbooks, showed how anonymity, conformity and boredom can be used to induce sadistic behavior in otherwise wholesome students. More recently, Dr. Zimbardo, 74, has been studying how policy decisions and individual choices led to abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The road that took him from Stanford to Abu Ghraib is described in his new book, “The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil” (Random House).