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From bystander to upstander: A conversation about shyness, bullying and everyday heroism

August 14, 2017
Stanford professor emeritus Philip Zimbardo founded the Heroic Imagination Project. (Photo: Linda A. Cicero)
Stanford professor emeritus Philip Zimbardo founded the Heroic Imagination Project, which uses social psychology research to help young people learn to take action in difficult situations. (Photo: Linda A. Cicero)
In this episode of School’s In, Philip Zimbardo talks about how to improve the way kids relate to others, especially under difficult circumstances.

Shy children who are bullied by a classmate aren’t their tormenter’s only victims.

“Bullies create bystanders,” said Philip Zimbardo, psychology professor emeritus at Stanford. “We have lots of research to show that when you ask people to think of a time when they didn’t help someone in need, it’s almost always when a friend was being bullied and they did nothing.” By not confronting the bully or comforting the friend, he said, “years later, you feel shame.”

In this episode of School’s In, Zimbardo joined Graduate School of Education Dean Dan Schwartz and Senior Lecturer Denise Pope to discuss shyness, bullying and how to help young people learn to become a “social hero.”

Zimbardo is founder of the Heroic Imagination Project, a nonprofit that teaches people how to intercede in challenging circumstances.

“We teach people to stand up, speak out and take action,” he said. “All of my research shows you have to focus not only on changing the individual but changing the situation.”

Listen from the link below, and find more episodes of School's In at the Stanford Radio main page. The show airs Saturdays on SiriusXM Insight Channel 121.