Social Psychology Network

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John T. Cacioppo

John T. Cacioppo

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Professor John T. Cacioppo died of cancer on March 5, 2018. Social Psychology Network is maintaining this profile for visitors who wish to learn more about Professor Cacioppo's work.

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John T. Cacioppo is the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor at The University of Chicago. He is the Director of the Social Psychology Program at The University of Chicago as well as the Director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience. Before going to The University of Chicago, Cacioppo served on the faculty at the University of Notre Dame (1977-1979), the University of Iowa (1979-1989), and Ohio State University (1989-1999).

We are investigating the social and neural mechanisms underlying complex human behavior through an approach we termed social neuroscience (Cacioppo & Berntson, 1992, 2004; Cacioppo et al., 2000, 2002). There have been important advances in our understanding of the links between the mind, brain, and behavior over the past century, but it has been conventional to conceptualize individuals as somewhat isolated units of analysis. As a social species, however, humans create emergent organizations beyond the individual - structures that range from dyads, families, and groups to cities, civilizations, and cultures. These emergent structures evolved hand in hand with neural and hormonal mechanisms to support them because the consequent social behaviors helped these organisms survive, reproduce, and care for offspring sufficiently long that they too survived to reproduce. Social neuroscience represents an interdisciplinary approach devoted to understanding how biological systems implement social processes and behavior and to using biological concepts and methods to inform and refine theories of social processes and behavior. We use a variety of methods in our research, including functional magnetic resonance (fMRI), standard and high density electroencephalography and event-related brain potentials, psychophysiological assessments, and neuroendocrine and immune assays, and in collaboration with colleagues we also have begun to bring quantitative genetics to bear on our research questions.

Primary Interests:

  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Close Relationships
  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Evolution and Genetics
  • Health Psychology
  • Neuroscience, Psychophysiology
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Social Cognition

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