So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

by

Jon Ronson

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Philip Zimbardo Character Analysis

Philip Zimbardo is a psychiatrist who is famous for creating the Stanford Prison Experiment. In that experiment, Zimbardo selected several young men to playact as “guards” and “prisoners” in the basement of a laboratory to observe whether deindividuation—the process of losing one’s identity and becoming more likely to display uninhibited behavior in a high-pressure situation—was a real phenomenon. Zimbardo’s experiment has long been regarded as successful, given how it seemed to show that when stripped of their identities and placed in pressurized power dynamics, people would quickly turn against one another. But in the years since the 1970s experiment, the integrity of the experiment has been questioned by many experts (and debunked by many participants, including Dave Eshelman, a “guard” who claimed he was only acting in the way he believed Zimbardo wanted him to.)
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Philip Zimbardo Character Timeline in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

The timeline below shows where the character Philip Zimbardo appears in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: Man Descends Several Rungs in the Ladder of Civilization
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
...the Stanford Prison Experiment, which took place in 1971 under the supervision of psychologist Philip Zimbardo. Zimbardo seized on crowd theory (or deindividuation, a proposed phenomenon in which uninhibited behavior becomes... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
Zimbardo’s assistant refused to schedule an appointment for Ronson to speak with him, but Ronson did... (full context)