Alice Eagly is a social psychologist whose research spans the study of gender as well as attitudes and social cognition, including the topics of prejudice and societal stereotypes. She has contributed many experimental studies as well as large-scale meta-analyses of relevant aspects of research literatures. She was born in Los Angeles and grew up in California and Seattle in Washington State. She attended Harvard University as an undergraduate and obtained her graduate degrees from the University of Michigan. Her subsequent academic positions were at Michigan State University, the University of Massachusetts, Purdue University, and Northwestern University, where she now is Professor of Psychology Emerita and James Padilla Chair of Arts and Sciences Emerita and in addition Faculty Fellow Emerita in the Institute for Policy Research. She has served as President of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. Eagly has received numerous awards for her research and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Alice Eagly has made fundamental contributions to the psychology of gender, especially to the study of leadership but also to prosocial behavior, partner preferences, aggression, and sociopolitical attitudes. She developed social role theory to account for sex/gender differences and similarities in these behaviors. She tested this model through numerous meta-analytic projects and primary empirical studies. Her work has captured the realities of men's and women's behaviors as they are embedded in daily life while providing a theoretical model to explain these differences and similarities. She developed the social role perspective into a broader evolutionary model of gender differences that highlights the flexibility in men's and women's behaviors across societies and historical time. The model has also proven useful for understanding the content of group stereotypes, including gender stereotypes.
Alice Eagly's contributions to social psychology also include research on attitudes and persuasion, especially attitude change and attitudinal selectivity in information processing. Her 1993 book with Shelly Chaiken, Psychology of Attitudes, has been a central guide in this area for the past three decades. It is broadly integrative in scope yet detailed in its analysis of the cognitive and affective processes that guide attitudes and attitude change.

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Primary Section

Section 52: Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 53: Social and Political Sciences