Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Ellen Langer

Ellen Langer

  • Media Contact
  • SPN Mentor

Professor Langer earned her Ph.D. at Yale University in 1974 in Social and Clinical Psychology. She taught at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York for three years before joining the faculty at Harvard. Although she considers herself a social psychologist, her early clinical interests continue to influence the problems she chooses to study. Her primary interest is in doing research that is balanced between theoretical issues and applied concerns. Such projects have been in the general areas of decision making, behavioral medicine, deviance, the social psychology of aging, control, and socially induced performance debilitations. For the last thirty years, her work analyzes each of these from the perspective of her theory of mindfulness.

Academic Honors and Awards:

--Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest Award (American Psychological Association)

--Distinguished Contributions of Basic Science to Applied Psychology (American Association of Applied & Preventive Psychology)

--Distinguished Research Achievement Award (American Psychological Association, Division of Adult Development and Aging)

--Guggenheim Fellowship

--Sloan Foundation Fellow

--James McKeen Cattel Award

--Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize

--Guest Lecturer in Japan, Malaysia, Germany

--Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and Society of Experimental Social Psychology

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Social Cognition

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Books:

Journal Articles:

  • Alexander, C., Langer, E., Newman, R., Chandler, H., & Davies, J. (1989). Aging, mindfulness and meditation. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 57, 950-964
  • Crum, A., & Langer, E. (2007) Mindset matters: Exercise as a placebo. Psychological Science, 18, 2.
  • Langer, E. (1975). The illusion of control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32, 311-328.
  • Langer, E., & Abelson, R. (1974). A patient by any other name... Clinician group differences in labeling bias. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 4-9.
  • Langer, E., & Piper, A. (1987). The prevention of mindlessness. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 53, 280-287.
  • Langer, E., & Rodin, J. (1976). The effects of enhanced personal responsibility for the aged: A field experiment in and institutional setting. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34, 191-198.
  • Moldoveanu, M. C., & Langer, E. (2002). False memories of the future: A critique of probabilistic reasoning. Psychological Review, 358-375.

Other Publications:

  • Langer, E., & Moldoveanu, M. (Eds.). (2000). Journal of Social Issues: Mindfulness Theory and social issues. New York: Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

Ellen Langer
Department of Psychology
Harvard University
33 Kirkland Street, William James Hall
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
United States

  • Phone: (617) 495-3800

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