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Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D., and Mel Ganus, Ed.D.


Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D., earned his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Yale University, and then taught at various institutions before joining Stanford University as a professor in 1968. Among the awards and honors he has since received are the American Psychological Association’s 2012 Gold Medal in Science Award and the Vaclav Havel Foundation Prize for a lifetime of research on the human condition.

Zimbardo’s research interests include shyness, new perspectives on time, and everyday heroism, though many know him best for the Stanford Prison Experiment and its enduring influence on the ethics of psychological research. Among his more than 400 professional publications are the textbooks Psychology and Life and Core Concepts in Psychology. His other books include The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil; The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life; Shyness: What It Is, What to Do About It; and Man Interrupted: Why Young Men are Struggling and What We Can Do About It. He has also been involved in numerous educational videos including the PBS series Discovering Psychology, TED talks, and the 2015 film The Stanford Prison Experiment.

Zimbardo founded the Heroic Imagination Project in 2008, and his most recent work, in collaboration with Mel Ganus, Ed.D., is How to SQUID, focused on helping people improve on decision-making with Quality of Life eXperiments.

Mel Ganus, Ed.D., MBA, ADD, aka "The SQUID Lady," has focused her work on helping people of all ages and abilities better understand how our brains work, how we learn, and how we can make better choices. She has worked across sectors, first in fast food, then tech in the 1980s, with a few transformational years at Microsoft. In the 1990s, she moved into philanthropy and nonprofit work, with an emphasis on helping bridge digital divides. In the 2000s, she began working in higher education, in community colleges and faculty development, with a focus on teaching metacognition. Ganus has worked as faculty at the University of San Diego, teaching teachers how to bring applied neuroscience to the design of student-centered curricula. She began working with Philip Zimbardo in 2010, and has helped create and build Zimbardo’s Everyday Heroes, Quality of Life eXperiments, and wikiBlind.

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