Monday, May 16, 2016

Psychology professor collaborates with preeminent psychologist

Brian Metcalf (back row, far left) at the 2016 Western Psychological
Association Annual Convention in Long Beach, California. 
Metcalf with fellow symposium speakers (back row, l-to-r) Sonja Terdal Olshove, Philip Zimbardo, Vivian McCann, 
and Brian Detweiler-Bedell with students (front row). 
Associate Professor of Psychology Brian Metcalf, Ph.D., has been collaborating with world-renowned psychologist, Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D., professor emeritus of Stanford University.  Recognized for his classic research, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Zimbardo is also a leading "voice and face of contemporary psychology" through his PBS-TV series, Discovering Psychology, his media appearances, best-selling text and trade books, more than 500 scholarly works, and as the founder of the non-profit Heroic Imagination Project organization. 

Zimbardo invited Metcalf to be a member of his “Z-Team” of researchers, resulting this year in the publication of “Time Perspective Theory” by Metcalf and Zimbardo in the SAGE Encyclopedia of Theory in Psychology in March 2016. Also in this volume, Metcalf has an entry as sole author entitled “Frontal Lobe Functions” about this region of cortex in the brain.  

Invited by Zimbardo to join him in his symposium entitled “Giving Psychology Away: Building Vibrant Hero Networks from Classroom to Community,” on April 30, 2016, at the Western Psychological Association Annual Convention in Long Beach, California, Metcalf gave a presentation about his Pohakea Heroic Imagination Project and his implementation of this heroic imagination theme in his Introduction to Psychology courses.  

Pohakea means “to bring forth light” in Hawaiian and the mission of the Heroic Imagination Project (HIP) is to translate the extensive research findings of social psychology and related fields into meaningful insights and tools that individuals can use in their everyday lives to transform negative situations and create positive change. We know much about how situations can influence good people to do evil, but we know relatively little about how, where, and why those same situations can produce heroism. The HIP goal is to train people to be Heroes-in-Waiting, ready to step up to do the right things at the right times.  

Of Metcalf’s presentation and work, Zimbardo said, “[It was] educational, entertaining, and inspiring! Brian’s work is really phenomenal in Hawaii. It’s bridging cultures...his program is really a model of how you take a set of ideas which are traditional Western Psychology and intergrade them into Hawaiian cultural value. We’re doing the same thing all over the U.S., in Hungary, Poland, Italy, and other parts of the world.” 

Metcalf said of his collaboration with Zimbardo, “It’s an amazing honor and career highlight to work alongside this legendary man. Zimbardo is not just destined for the psychology history books, he’s already in them.”  

Symposium speaker, Sonja Terdal Olshove, presents Brian Metcalf
with a “Super Zim” t-shirt

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