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:
APA Science Award:
New York Times Interview with Aronson:
- Aronson, E. (2010). Not by chance alone: My life as a social psychologist. New York: Basic Books.
- Aronson, E. (2000). Nobody left to hate: Teaching compassion after Columbine. New York: Henry Holt.
- Aronson, E., & Aronson, R. (2005). The adventures of Ruthie and a little boy named Grandpa–A children’s book. iUniverse.
- Aronson, E., Ellsworth, P., Carslmith, J. M., & Gonzales, M. (1990). Methods of research in social psychology (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Aronson, E., & Patnoe, S. (2011). Cooperation in the classroom: The jigsaw method (3rd ed.). London: Pinter & Martin, Ltd.
- Aronson, E., & Pratkanis, A. R. (1993). Social psychology: The most outstanding research (Vol. 1, 2, & 3). London: Elgar Ltd.
- Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D., Akert, R. M., & Sommers, S. (2016). Social psychogy (9th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
- Aronson, E., with Aronson, J. (2018). The social animal (12th ed.). New York: Worth. [Translated into 14 foreign languages]
- Aronson, J., & Aronson, E. (Ed.). (2018). Readings about the social animal (12th ed.). New York: Worth.
- Gonzales, M., Tavris, C., & Aronson, J. (Eds.). (2010). The scientist and the humanist: A Festschrift in honor of Elliot Aronson. New York: Psychology Press.
- Lindzey, G., & Aronson, E. (1968 & 1985). The handbook of social psychology (2nd & 3rd ed.). New York: Random House.
- Pratkanis, A. R., & Aronson, E. (2001). Age of propaganda: The everyday use and abuse of persuasion. New York: Henry Holt.
- Tavris, C., & Aronson, E. (2007/2015). Mistakes were made (but not by me): Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful acts (Rev. Ed.). New York: Mariner Books.