About Shelley E. Taylor


Shelley E. Taylor is a Distinguished Professor and co-director of the Health Psychology Program at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an Associate Member of the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. She earned her PhD from Yale and has held academic positions at Yale, Harvard, and UCLA. From 1993-1994 she was President of the Western Psychological Association; she is on the Board of Trustees for the Russell Sage Foundation; was on the Board of Scientific Advisors for the American Psychological Association; and was President of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology in 1999. Dr. Taylor has received numerous awards, including the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Contribution to Psychology Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association,  a 10-year Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, and an Outstanding Scientific Contribution Award in Health Psychology. She has beenelected to the Institute of Medicine in the National Academies of Science, the National Academy of Sciences, and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Taylor’s research has contributed to a topic of considerable attention in contemporary health sciences: the connections between emotional and physical health. She has studied gender differences in response to stress as well as the effect of positive thinking on the progression of illness in HIV patients. Her ongoing research includes “Self-Regulatory Aspects of Positive Illusions,” with the National Institute of Mental Health; “Family Environment and Biobehavioral Stress Responses,” at UCLA; and “Biopsychosocial Bases of Social Responses to Threat,” with the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Taylor is co-author of Social Psychology (Prentice Hall, 12th ed. 2005) andHealth Psychology (McGraw-Hill, 7th ed. 2009) and author of Positive Illusions: Creative Self-Deception and the Healthy Mind (Basic Books, 1989). She has written The Tending Instinct (Times Books, 2002) and Foundations in Social Neuroscience (MIT Press, 2003) and has contributed to many scholarly compilations. Dr. Taylor has authored more than 350 publications in journals and books, including “Are Self-Enhancing Cognitions Associated with Healthy or Unhealthy Biological Profiles?” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; “Risky Families: Family Social Environments and the Mental and Physical Health of Offspring,” Psychological Bulletin; and “Anger and fear responses to stress have different biological profiles,” Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

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