Chair

One of the world’s most influential psychologists, Roy F. Baumeister is the Eppes Eminent Scholar and a professor of psychology at Florida State University. He 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 studied at the University of Heidelberg, took an 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, 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, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and VU University Amsterdam, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, and a residential fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Psychological Society, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), he received the highest award given by the Association for Psychological Science, the William James Fellow Award, in 2013 in recognition of his lifetime achievements. Dr. Baumeister is also a co-recipient of a Mensa Award for Excellence in Research, the winner of the SPSP’s Distinguished Service Award and its Jack Block Award for Distinguished Contributions to Personality Psychology, the International Network for Personal Meaning’s Lifetime Achievement Award, a Distinguished Lifetime Career Contribution Award from the International Society for Self and Identity, Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, and the Scientific Impact Award of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology. The author of more than 550 articles published in major academic journals or in volumes of collected works, he is the co-editor (with Kathleen D. Vohs) of SAGE’s 2007 Encyclopedia of Social Psychology, and the editor of twelve books, including, most recently, (with Alfred R. Mele and Kathleen D. Vohs) Free Will and Consciousness: How Might They Work? (2010), (with E. J. Finkel) Advanced Social Psychology (2010), and (with Kathleen D. Vohs) two multiple-volume sets in the SAGE Library in Social Science series, New Directions in Social Psychology (2012) and The Self and Identity (2012). Dr. Baumeister is also the author of fifteen other books, including: Meanings of Life (1991), the oft-cited study in which he explores what empirical studies from diverse fields tell us about how people attempt to make sense of their lives; 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; a textbook (with B. J. Bushman) that is going into its fourth edition, Social Psychology and Human Nature (2008, 2011, 2014, and forthcoming in 2016); and Is There Anything Good about Men? (2010). His newest book, with science journalist John Tierney, is the best-selling Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, an accessible, empirically-grounded guide to self-control published in 2011 by Penguin Press, which draws on his research showing that willpower is lot like a muscle in that it can be fatigued with overuse and toned up by exercise— and that, with intelligence, it is the best predictor of a successful and satisfying life.