I am presently a Senior Scientist in the Department of Sociology at the University of Maryland in College Park. I attended college at Hamilton College and received my Ph.D. in Psychology from New York University. While in graduate school I also studied under Robert Merton in the Sociology Department of Columbia University. From 1959 to 2007, I carried out research at the Socioenvironmental Studies Laboratory of the Intramural Program of the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health. I was chief of the unit from 1985 until 2007 I came to Maryland in the fall of 2007.
My research has ranged across many levels of phenomena. I have published papers involving a wide variety of methodologies, ranging from psychobiological measurement, through psychological experiments and complex longitudinal surveys to historical studies. Many of my studies have involved structural equation modeling, which I first started doing in the mid 1970s. A central focus of my research has been on how individuals are affected by the environmental conditions that result from their positions in the social structures of their societies. The core findings of this research are that throughout the life course complex, intellectually demanding, environmental conditions that facilitate self-directed behavior increase individuals’ levels of cognitive functioning and promote a self-directed orientation to self and to society; while noxious and stressful environmental conditions, not surprisingly, lead to distress, mental and physical illness, and mortality.
The relevance of my research findings has been recognized by both the fields of Psychology and Sociology. I am a fellow of the American Psychological Society, a member of the Sociological Research Association and was elected 2003 Chair of the Social Psychology Section of the American Sociological Association have held four fellowships from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science. I have published well over one hundred articles and books based on my psychological and sociological research. Two of these articles have been declared Current Content Citation Classics and I am probably the only person to have published articles in both the American Sociological Review and the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.