Human Motivation

Elliot Aronson University of California, Santa Cruz

Aronson_ElliotElliot Aronson is perhaps best known for his experiments refining the theory of cognitive dissonance, which states that people will change their attitudes or behaviors to reduce cognitive discomfort caused by performing actions that are inconsistent with their beliefs. He is also recognized for his work seeking to understand and reduce intergroup and racial conflict — leading to the creation of the Jigsaw Classroom intervention program. Aronson is known for applying theory and research to real-world problems, and for challenging researchers to adapt their findings for use in everyday life. His textbook The Social Animal, has been widely used for over 40 years.  Aronson is the only person to have won all three of APA’s major awards for distinguished writing, distinguished teaching, and distinguished research. The Review of General Psychology listed him as one of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century.  He is also the recipient of the Donald Campbell Award, the Gordon Allport Prize and the Association for Psychological Science (APS) William James Fellow Award for his lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology.

Watch Elliot Aronson: The Intersection of Art and Science.