The Eppes Eminent Professor of Psychology at Florida State University,
Roy F. Baumeister is internationally known for his research in social psychology that spans topics ranging from the human need to belong and the effects of rejection to how people seek to make their lives meaningful to the essence of the relationship between the individual and society. Ongoing studies also include work related to the psychology of choosing, particularly the role of conscious processes in decision-making, and investigations of self-destructive behavior that shows the limits of human rationality. A summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University, Dr. Baumeister did graduate work at the University of Heidelberg, took a M.A. in psychology at Duke University, and received his Ph.D. in experimental social psychology from Princeton in 1978. After holding a National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied personality and social structure, he joined the psychology faculty at Case Western Reserve University as an assistant professor in 1979. He was named a full professor a decade later and awarded the E. Smith Professorship in the Liberal Arts in 1992, a post he held until accepting his present chair at Florida State in 2003. Dr. Baumeister has been a visiting associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin, a visiting professor at the Max Planck Institute in Munich and at the University of Virginia, and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. His research has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health and the John Templeton Foundation. An elected fellow of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, he is a co-winner of a 2004 Mensa Award for Excellence in Research. He formerly served as editor of Psychological Inquiry, as co-editor of Dialogue, and as guest editor of a special issue of the Review of General Psychology. The author of some 175 articles published in major academic journals and more than ninety chapters in volumes of collected works, Dr. Baumeister is the editor or co-editor of six books and the co-author or author of eleven others, including, most recently, The Cultural Animal: Human Nature, Meaning, and Social Life (Oxford University Press, 2005) in which he argues that culture shaped human evolution and that nature selected individual human beings to be part of society. A new textbook (with B. J. Bushman), Social Psychology and Human Nature, will be published this year by Wadsworth.