Friday, 18 March 2016

Philip Zimbardo (EIE): Personality Type Analysis

Philip George Zimbardo is a psychologist, most famous for the Stanford Prison Experiment which sought to understand institutional influences on individuals, the creation and maintenance of psychological power (independent of recourse to any material weapons), and the extent of human sadism if left unconstrained. These are largely E & F themes.

It could be argued that Zimbardo's attempt to understand de-individuation via obedience to authority leaves open the possibility of Delta Humanitarian. However, the following almost entirely removes that option:

Zimbardo was notably blind to the negative impact of his experimentation on his human participants. Several of the participants had nervous breakdowns. Many of his colleagues tried to tell him that the trauma on the participants was too great and deeply questioned the ethics of the experiment. Zimbardo always responded that the use to society in understanding this phenomenon was far greater. That is a typical Beta "vision" in which the impact on individuals in the here and now (R & S) is ignored in favor of what is perceived as a broad-sweeping future good (E+T).

This leaves IEI and EIE as options. His obsessive focus on the experiment (he barely slept during the week-long period) and perseverance in gathering data, as well as his inclination to steam-roll dissenting opinions, is much more consistent with EIE (F6, P3).

Zimbardo only stopped the experiment after his girlfriend threatened to leave him. The study had far-reaching impact in many ways, not least in that it led to the creation of "ethical review boards" to which psychologists must submit their experimental protocol for review so as to ensure no harm to their participants.

Editor's Note: Further evidence of someone highly focused on E can be seen in Zimbardo's actions following the Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo has achieved notable fame for a psychologist in his publication of books with eye-catching titles, such as 'The Lucifer Effect', focusing on the inner potential for people to commit 'evil' acts in an environment that justifies such actions. In addition to this, Zimbardo has founded his own movement, the 'Heroic Imagination Project', a non-profit organisation dedicated to "promoting heroism in everyday life". In this regard, Zimbardo has channelled the findings of his experiment partly into populist self-promotion (E), and more notably, a movement to bring about social change (E+T). 

To learn more about the EIE, click here.

If you are confused by our use of Socionics shorthand, click here.


The Stanford Prison Experiment

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