Announcing Psi Beta’s National Heroic Imagination Service Project!

Since last April, Psi Beta leaders have been working diligently with the directors of Dr. Phil Zimbardo’s Heroic Imagination Project (HIP) to develop an exciting, innovative, and important community service project for Psi Beta chapters! We feel this project, which formally launches in January, will be “perfect” for students of psychology who are members of Psi Beta. Participating chapters will form teams (4 to 5 students per team is ideal) that will undergo training to prepare them to present 90 minute workshops to children at local schools and youth development organizations. The team training lessons draw heavily from classic and current research in social psychology. The goal of the presentations will be to provide young people with the skills needed to stand up, speak out and act courageously and effectively in challenging situations; in other words, to encourage kids to become everyday heroes in instances such as bullying, bystander apathy, negative peer pressure, prejudice and discrimination, etc.

The Psi Beta chapter at Irvine Valley College is working with the Heroic Imagination Directors this semester to develop, pilot test, and refine training videos and resource documents. Starting this spring, chapters will be able to form teams and use these materials to design and deliver Heroic Imagination presentations. This new service project will formally launch in early January, 2013. Chapter training will be facilitated using a live webinar feed. In order to access and use the training materials (all materials will be password projected on the national website), chapters will be asked to complete an application in which they agree to complete the training, follow important guidelines for arranging presentation sites, and file a project report. There will be a nominal application fee of $100 which will be refunded to chapters submitting a complete end-of-year project report. It is important to note that this service project includes a research component; teams will be provided tools to measure the positive impact they are having on others. Teams also will have the option of using their project research information for presentations at local, regional, or national conferences.

In closing, we expect that students who serve on the HIP presentations teams will emerge with a much deeper knowledge and appreciation for the social psychology research and concepts used to inform and structure the presentations. Psi Beta students should also benefit from the experience of working on a team, practicing their oral and written communication skills in a real world environment, and enjoy a myriad of other positive outcomes expected by the APA learning goals under Professional Competency – these are competencies that employers expect college graduates, especially psychology majors, will bring with them to the workplace. It’s great to have a service project that will benefit society but also enrich the learning experience of our students!!!


The Psi Beta National Council

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