…that people are truly good at heart. Anne Frank told us so 70 years ago, and now the professor behind the Stanford prison experiment is out to prove it. Dr. Philip Zimbardo, the man responsible for the most memorable example from your Psych 101 class, believes that ordinary people have the ability to act in heroic ways.
“Heroes are not extraordinary people,” he says. “They’re ordinary people who do an extraordinary thing, step out of themselves, put their best self forward in service to humanity. And it starts with internalizing heroic imagination, namely — I could do it.”
So he’s calling it the Heroic Imagination Project. It’s a nonprofit training organization based in San Francisco. One of the first programs has been to teach heroism at a charter high school, called ARISE, in one of the tougher neighborhoods of Oakland, Calif.