2016 James McKeen Cattell Fellow

Phoebe C. Ellsworth

University of Michigan

Phoebe C. Ellsworth is the Frank Murphy Distinguished University Professor of Law and Psychology at the University of Michigan. Ellsworth has made foundational contributions to multiple areas of psychological science. With regard to emotion, her early research involved influential investigations of nonverbal behavior, eye contact, and the recognition of emotional expression. She followed this with seminal contributions on the cognitive appraisals underlying emotions, work that heralded a new era of emotion research. Her subsequent studies then opened the door for increased attention to the cross-cultural study of emotion.

Ellsworth has also made pioneering contributions to the field of psychology and law over the past four decades. This work includes research on jury decision making, attitudes toward capital punishment, jury death qualification, and eyewitness identification. She has applied her expertise to policy and legal debates, including serving on the Board of Directors for the Death Penalty Information Center and chairing a death penalty task force of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and she is a member of the Advisory Board for the Center on Wrongful Convictions.

In 2001, in recognition of her career excellence, Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles created the Phoebe C. Ellsworth Psychology and Justice Colloquium Series. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, and the International Society for Research on Emotion, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Law and Society Association. Few psychologists working at the interface of psychology and law have made as broad a range of contributions as Ellsworth.

See Ellsworth’s award address presented at the 2016 APS Annual Convention in Chicago.