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Robert Rosenthal(1933- ) is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. His interests include self-fulfilling prophecies, which he explored in a well-known study of the Pygmalion Effect: the effect of teachers' expectations on students.

Rosenthal was born in Giessen, Germany on March 2, 1933, and left with his parents at the age of six. In 1956 he was awarded a PhD by the University of California, Los Angeles. He started his career as a clinical psychologist and then moved into social psychology. For many years he was at Harvard and became chairman of the psychology department there in 1992, and Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology in 1995. On retiring in 1999 he went to California.

Much of his work has focussed on nonverbal communication, particularly its influence on expectations: for example, in doctor-patient or manager-employee situations. The many awards he has won include the 2003 Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology of the American Psychological Foundation.

See also



  • Rosenthal, R, and Jacobsen, L. (1968) Pygmalion in the Classroom: Teacher Expectations and Pupil Intellectual Development, New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Book Chapters


  • Rosenthal, Robert (1979), "The "File Drawer Problem" and the Tolerance for Null Results", Psychological Bulletin 86 (3): 638-641 
  • Rosenthal, R. and Fade, K.L. (1963) The effect of experimenter bias on the performance of the albino rat, Behavioural Science 8: 183-9.

External links

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