Participants

Roy F. Baumeister, the Eppes Eminent Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, 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, the interpersonal consequences of forgiveness, and the physiology of willpower. 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 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 (NIMH) postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, 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, the University of Virginia, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford. His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, NIMH, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the John Templeton Foundation. An elected fellow of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), he is a co-recipient of a 2004 Mensa Award for Excellence in Research and the winner of both SPSP's 2007 Distinguished Service Award and its Jack Block Award for Distinguished Contributions to Personality Psychology, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award given by the International Network for Personal Meaning. He formerly served as editor of Psychological Inquiry, as co-editor of Dialogue, and as guest editor of two special issues of the Review of General Psychology. The author of more than 450 papers published in academic journals or in volumes of collected works, Dr. Baumeister is the co-editor (with Kathleen D. Vohs) of Sage's 2007 Encyclopedia of Social Psychology and the editor or co-editor of eleven books, including, most recently, (with Joseph P. Forgas and Dianne M. Tice) Psychology of Self-Regulation: Cognitive, Affective, and Motivational Processes (2009), (with Alfred R. Mele and Kathleen D. Vohs) Free Will and Consciousness: How Might They Work? (2010), and (with Eli J. Finkel) Advanced Social Psychology (2010). He is the author or co-author of thirteen other books, including The Cultural Animal: Human Nature, Meaning, and Social Life (2005) in which he argues that culture shaped human evolution and that nature selected individual human beings to be part of society, the widely-used textbook (with Brad J. Bushman) Social Psychology and Human Nature (2008 and 2011), and Is There Anything Good About Men? (2010), an examination of gender roles and differences. His newest book, written with John Tierney, is the highly-praised Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, which made the New York Times best seller list soon after publication in September by The Penguin Press. It draws on research conducted by Dr. Baumeister over the past dozen years, which, by demonstrating that willpower depends on glucose as an energy source, shows the neurobiological basis of the metaphor depicting self-control as a muscle—and goes on to indicate how the authors believe it can strengthened by exercise and exhausted by overuse.