Social Psychology Network

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Elliot Aronson

Elliot Aronson

Elliot Aronson's primary research is in the area of social influence. Throughout his career he has sought to do experiments that would integrate his passion about basic science with his desire to apply those research findings toward improving the human condition (e.g., to reduce prejudice, deter bullying, and convince people to conserve energy and other natural resources).

Elliot Aronson's classic introductory textbook, The Social Animal, first published in 1972, is now out in its 12th edition (2018), in collaboration with Elliot's son, NYU professor Joshua Aronson. Elliot is the only psychologist to have won APA's highest awards in all three major academic categories: For distinguished writing (1973), for distinguished teaching (1980), and for distinguished research (1999). In 2002, he was listed among the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th Century (APA Monitor, July/August, 2002). In 2007, he received the William James Award for Distinguished Research from the Association for Psychological Science.

In 2015, Elliot and his coauthor Carol Tavris published an updated edition of "Mistakes were made (but not by ME): Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful acts," a book for general audiences that brings cognitive dissonance theory and the workings of self-justification to bear on many aspects of life, from the political to the personal.

Elliot has taught at Harvard University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Texas, the University of California at Santa Cruz, and Stanford University. He lives in Santa Cruz, California, with Vera, his wife of more than 60 years.

For further information, please see his Wikipedia page, publications list, and these links:

APS Science Award:

New York Times Interview with Aronson:

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Communication, Language
  • Group Processes
  • Helping, Prosocial Behavior
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Person Perception
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Research Methods, Assessment
  • Social Cognition

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Other Publications:

Courses Taught:

  • Experimental Methods in Social Psychology
  • Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Social Influence and Persuasion
  • The Life Cycle: Psychology & Philosophy of Meaning

Elliot Aronson
136 Tree Frog Lane
Santa Cruz, California 95060
United States of America

  • Home: (831) 429-1432

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