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Philip George Zimbardo (1933– ) is a social psychologist who, through a series on public television, numerous publications, and groundbreaking research—including the historic Stanford Prison Experiment—has become an international spokesperson for the field of psychology.

Zimbardo was born on March 23, 1933, in New York City. His parents, George Zimbardo, an electrician, and Margaret Bisicchia, immigrated from Cammarata, Italy, a village about 40 miles from Palermo, Sicily, and raised their four children in the ghetto of the South Bronx during the 1930s and 1940s. Zimbardo remembers having good friends as a child but took notice of how the environment would negatively influence their behaviors. This recollection would later influence his future work in the field of psychology.

Zimbardo graduated from high school in 1950 and received a ...

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