If—or when—a zombie apocalypse comes, Assistant Professor Scott Mirabile can teach you the psychology of surviving it. “The Psychology of Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse” is the title of Mirabile’s chapter in the anthology “But If a Zombie Apocalypse Did Occur: Essays on Medical, Military, Governmental, Ethical, Economic and Other Implications (Contributions to Zombie Studies).”
The anthology is a collection of new essays that consider the implications of this scientifically impossible (but perhaps imminent) event, examining real-world responses to pandemic contagion and civic chaos, as well as those from Hollywood and popular culture. The contributors discuss the zombie apocalypse as a metaphor for actual catastrophes and estimate the probabilities of human survival and behavior during an undead invasion.
Mirabile’s essay picks up where other authors leave off by assuming that humanity is reduced to isolated groups of humans living on the road or in questionably secure compounds with limited contact between such groups. The chapter describes the probable psychological and interpersonal needs, stressors, and consequences of the zombie apocalypse for individuals fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to find themselves as survivors, grouped in tentative safety.
The following is an excerpt:
Across most depictions of a zombie apocalypse, there are four common themes: the survivors are isolated from contact or assistance from the outside world, if one even still exists; the survivors are confined to an area of uncertain safety; the survivors face lethal threats to their well- being, sometimes from one another in addition to the zombies; and finally the survivors must attempt to cope with these stressors and adapt their behavior to the demands of their new reality.
Mirabile is a developmental psychologist. His research investigates how parents and teachers help children learn about and cope with emotions. An avid fan of the zombie genre, he is the faculty mentor to the St. Mary’s Humans vs. Zombies Club and has given public lectures on human adaption to a zombie apocalypse.
The anthology is now available on Amazon.