Dr. Carol Tavris's work as a writer, teacher, and lecturer has been devoted to educating the public about psychological science. Her book with Elliot Aronson, "Mistakes Were Made (But Not by ME): Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful acts" (revised edition, 2015, and most recently updated in 2020 with a new chapter--"Dissonance, Democracy, and the Demagogue"), applies cognitive dissonance theory to a wide variety of topics, including politics, conflicts of interest, memory (everyday and "recovered"), the criminal justice system, police interrogation, the daycare sex-abuse epidemic, family quarrels, international conflicts, and business. Her latest book, with oncologist Avrum Bluming, is "Estrogen Matters" (Little, Brown Spark, 2018). In addition to writing essays and book reviews, she contributes a column for Skeptic magazine, "The Gadfly."
She has spoken to students, psychologists, mediators, lawyers, judges, physicians, business executives, and general audiences on, among other topics, self-justification; science and pseudoscience in psychology; gender and sexuality; critical thinking; and anger. In the legal arena, Dr. Tavris has given many addresses and workshops to attorneys and judges on the difference between testimony based on good psychological science and that based on pseudoscience and subjective clinical opinion.
Dr. Tavris is a Charter Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. Her honors and awards include the 2014 Media Achievement Award from SPSP; an honorary doctorate from Simmons college in 2013; the Distinguished Media Contribution Award from the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology (for The Mismeasure of Woman), the Heritage Publications Award from Division 35 of the American Psychological Association (for The Mismeasure of Woman), the “Movers and Shakers” Award from Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, the Distinguished Contribution to Women’s Health Award from the APA Conference on Women’s Health, an award from the Center for Inquiry, Independent Investigations Group, for contributions to skepticism and science, and the 2016 Bertrand Russell distinguished scholar award from the Foundation for Critical Thinking, Sonoma State.
- Aggression, Conflict, Peace
- Culture and Ethnicity
- Emotion, Mood, Affect
- Gender Psychology
- Law and Public Policy
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- Bluming, A., & Tavris, C. (2018). Estrogen matters. New York: Little, Brown, Spark.
- Gonzales, M. H., Tavris, C., & Aronson, J. (Eds.). (2010). The scientist and the humanist: A Festschrift in honor of Elliot Aronson. New York: Psychology Press.
- Tavris, C. (2011). Psychobabble and biobunk: Using psychological science to think critically about popular psychology (3rd ed.). [Reviews from the TLS, The New York Times, and other publications.] Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
- Tavris, C. (1992). The mismeasure of woman: Why women are not the better sex, the inferior sex, or the opposite sex. New York: Touchstone.
- Tavris, C. (1989). Anger: The misunderstood emotion (rev. ed.). New York: Touchstone.
Tavris, C., & Aronson, E. (2020). Mistakes were made (but not by me): Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful acts (3rd ed.). New York: Mariner Books.
- Linked image: Another Photo of Carol Tavris
- Tavris, C., & Wade, C. (2001). Psychology in perspective (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
- Wade, C., & Tavris, C. (2017). Psychology (12th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
- Wade, C., Tavris, C., Sommores, S., & Shin, L. (2018). Invitation to psychology (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
- Tavris, C. (2014). Teaching contentious classics. APS Observer, October, 27, 12-16. Reprinted in Skeptic magazine as "Thinking critically about psychology’s classic studies: Revisiting Milgram, Mischel, Sherif, and Harlow in light of what they mean today," Skeptic 19(3).
- Tavris, C. (1993, January 3). Beware the incest-survivor machine [Essay on popular books on recovered memory]. New York Times Book Review, 1, 9ff.
- Tiefer, L., Hall, M., & Tavris, C. (2002). Beyond dysfunction: A new view of women's sexual problems. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 28, 225-232.
- Shermer, Michael (February 9, 2011). "The Measure of a Woman: An interview with social scientist Carol Tavris". eSkeptic. ISSN 1556-5696. Retrieved February 12, 2011. originally published in The Skeptic v7 n1 1999.
- Tavris, C. (2015). The scientist-practitioner gap: Revisiting "A view from the bridge" a decade later (Foreword). In S. O. Lilienfeld, S. J. Lynn, & J. M. Lohr (Eds.), Science and pseudoscience in clinical psychology. New York: Guilford Press.
- Tavris, C. (2010). Writing about psychological science. In M. H. Gonzales, C. Tavris, & J. Aronson (Eds.), The scientist and the humanist: A festschrift in honor of Elliot Aronson. New York: Psychology Press.
- Tavris, C. (2006). The high cost of courage. In M. Garry & H. Hayne (Eds.), Do justice and let the sky fall: Elizabeth F. Loftus and her contributions to science, law, and academic freedom. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Tavris, C. (1999). The science and politics of gender research: The meanings of difference. In D. Bernstein (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, Vol. 45 (Gender & Motivation). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
- Tavris, C. (1991). The mismeasure of woman: Paradoxes and perspectives in the study of gender. In J. Goodchilds (Ed.), Master Lecture Series, Psychological perspectives on human diversity in America. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Dr. Carol Tavris
Los Angeles, California 90046
United States of America