Monday, March 16, 2015

Psychologist and author Philip Zimbardo discusses Time Perspective at the American University in Cairo



By Norhan Tawil, Abdelhamid Mahmoud and Tamer Hegab






CAIRO- Internationally recognized scholar, psychologist and author, Philip Zimbardo, gave a lecture at the American University in Cairo (AUC) on Monday, March 9.


Zimbardo, 81, is a professor emeritus at Stanford University. He became known for the Stanford prison experiment, and since then, became an author of many books including The Lucifer Effect and The Time Paradox, which he discussed in his lecture under the title, “The Secret Power of Time to Influence our Decisions and Impact National Destinies."


The study of time perspective investigates how the human experience is dispersed over different categories and time frames of the past, present, and future. According to Zimbardo, “Your time perspective is the most important thing about you.” He explained how one’s time perspective is even more important than their personality and the way in which it shapes their behavior.


Zimbardo believes that time perspective is easy for anyone to understand. He made that clear by saying that “People from any education can understand time perspective.” Mariam El Sawy, a student of the SAPE Department at AUC believes that, “Understanding time perspective and psychology, makes you understand life, yourself and the people around you in a better way.”


An individual’s time perspective is so important it “can influence therapy,” according to Zimbardo. Dina Hassan, psychologist, and AUC alumni said, “I have a lot of patients with PTSD, and I think I should apply methods of time perspective to my therapy.”

The psychology unit at AUC, nominated Dr. Zimbardo as a Distinguished Visiting Professor for the SAPE Department. He communicated his work to his audience via intriguing and active presentation slides, that were full of bright images and funny videos. The 225-seat Mansour Lecture Hall at AUC was overpacked with excited students, faculty and attendees. 


This is the second lecture for Zimbardo at AUC . He gave a lecture on Sunday, March 8, at the Tahrir campus under the title "My Journey from Creating Evil to Inspiring Heroism." According to Hassan, Zimbardo has the ability to “take something that could otherwise be very bland and make it interesting.” 




10 comments:

  1. One fo the most renowned and important psychologists of our time. Time itself is such a philosophy the derives so many theories, ideas, amd thoughts. I have my reservations in regards to the prison experiment. I'm not an expert; it's interesting, yet found it to be dehumanising.

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  2. Great opportunity to have such important scholar here at AUC.

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  3. He is a brilliant man but the experiment was somewhat immoral. The idea of observing the effect of being assigned a role as prisoner/ guard is fascinating but the conditions in which it was undertaken are not very moral.

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    1. Being immoral sometimes can lead to breakthroughs as this one has proven to us. In areas such as psychology we must go beyond the norms in order to understand the world differently and eventually come up with new theories.

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    2. @Mondow and Mohamed Talaia; not only is it necessary to cross the line of immorality sometimes but you also have to understand that he spent time with the volunteers and tested them to make sure that they were psychologically healthy and after the experiment he followed up with them to make sure there were no long term psychological effects as result of the experiment.

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  4. So cool to have a important academic who has changed our view of psychology in our midst. Seems like an interesting lecture!

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  5. Great article and interview very interested in reading more about his work.

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  6. It was great to attend his lectures at AUC. Such a wonderful opportunity!

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  8. Very good and very helpful. Intrested to read more about it.

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