Can modern science help us to create heroes? That's the lofty question behind Philip Zimbardo's Heroic Imagination Project, started by a Stanford professor who has spent 50 years teaching and studying psychology. The goal of the project is simple: to put decades of experimental research to use in training the next generation of exemplary Americans, churning out good guys with the same efficiency that gangs and terrorist groups produce bad guys. In this video, he inaugurates the project.


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  • mohammed

    hi friends

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    This is brilliant, thank you so much for posting! YES, We CAN be heroes; Phillip reminds us that ordinary every day people are heroes every day. All the time! This is deep and so important. What the world needs now is more heroes. Indeed! And the best part is, we are ALL capable. As for me, I've got my kit; Stories to connect cultures, create understanding and build bridges between; I tell stories both as my job and in my volunteer project, Literacy Outreach Belize (soon to be Literacy Outreach World); I'll be volunteering in Ghana, Kenya and India 2013. Ironically, Superhero Big Wheel Races will help me raise the funds to go. Final note, I also always carry my Free Hugs sign, connecting to humanity one hug at a time, HUG!

  • Jackie Sundol

    the idea that we can focus on what makes a hero instead of what makes one evil.... choosing to see ones part in making life better instead of being a victim.

  • Jamee

    I had already decided this was going to be my theme this year. I am a public elementary school dance teacher in Brighton Beach Brooklyn. I teach Pre-K to 5th. There are 62 languages spoken there. I felt a need to introduce to them the importance of having a mentor or someone they could look up to. Unfortunately,the human aspect of school is slowly being replaced with teaching to the test. Fortunately....I teach in an area of study where I have the freedom to be creative and work on social skills through dance, movement, music, art and theatre. Thank you for this program.

  • Julienne

    A great move in the right direction..wish you all the best with your's great to empower positively...we can "be the change"...someone helped me do that 30 + years ago and I've been privileged to give my life for others....with pure joy, satisfaction and hard work as the pay of...."volunteers are not paid because they are priceless"

  • Tedd

    After seeing his list of characteristics that can lead to heroism, I found that I fit quite a bit of them. I've survived a major trauma, done volunteer work, and done things for people that I did not expect repayment or any kind of reimbursement. Yet, I have never considered myself a hero, just a good human being.

  • elizabeth Wolf

    i teach creativity. one student spent 2 1/2 yrs making a video game full of violence. i challenged him to make one to achieve being a real hero, not a collector of money, or able to do violence to another. Now i understand that nations, one individual at a time, are motivated by some forms of fear. Can we teach people how to get in touch with their fears and therefore not have to be successful in life by accumulating money or material goods or power (bullying). We all have to learn to be right sized, not playing kind of the mountain so that we think we are better or worse than others. We have to learn again to be human where we learn how to take care of our own lives and then are free to serve others as our lives ambition (rather than the money or power etc). I believe that most individuals are loners, that is, not social creatures that is the basis of being a human. We are isolated from each other through the fears that we have carried around from childhood usually. We are not really connected to each other so that when we do something wrong (evil), we hide these things and we are only as sick as our secrets. so learning how we can face our fears will make us automatically do heroic acts.

  • Sandy Weston

    I'm a Civil Rights Team Advisor in Maine and a teacher. The idea of putting this type of project out there to empower young students may be just the thing to make them feel like they can "be somebody," feel like they make a difference! That is what we try to teach them on their teams so that they make a difference in their school to make it a better and safer environment. But the little added touch of knowing that you too, can be a hero....just like Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King can make a powerful impression! :)

  • tcwang

    Courage to stick to the truth is a totalitarian society is a real Hero.

  • kulbhushan

    everyone has capability to be a hero .it needs courage,self confidence,fearlessness,ovrcoming inhibitions and acting fast.iwas encouraged to watch this video because i wanted to know about heros and wanted to emulate them.

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  • Take the "hero pledge" or "hero challenge" with the Heroic Imagination Project.
  • Read more about the research behind heroic action, and what encourage such behavior.
  • Act heroically.  Next time you are in a situation that calls for an act of service, just do it!

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