Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Donelson R. Forsyth

Donelson R. Forsyth

A social and personality psychologist, Forsyth studies groups, leadership, ethical thought, and moral judgment. His general analyses of group development, structure, performance, and change are complemented by his in-depth analyses of the psychological and interpersonal consequences of success and failure at the group and individual level. He was recognized as the Outstanding Group Psychologist by the American Psychological Association in 1996 and received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Virginia Social Science Association in 2001. He has authored over 150 books, chapters, and articles on groups and related topics, and his work has appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, American Psychologist, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. He has received grants in excess of a total of $1 million for research from the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation. In 1996 he founded the journal Group Dynamics and served in 2008 as the president of Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy.

Primary Interests:

  • Causal Attribution
  • Group Processes
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Research Methods, Assessment
  • Social Cognition


Journal Articles:

  • Burnette, J. L., & Forsyth, D. R. (2008). "I didn't do it:" Responsibility biases in open and closed groups. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 12, 210-222.
  • Burnette, J. L., Taylor, K., Worthington, E., & Forsyth, D. R. (2007). Attachment working models and trait forgivingness: The mediating role of angry rumination. Personality and Individual Differences, 42, 1585-1596.
  • Forsyth, D. R. (2004). Inferences about actions performed in constraining contexts: Correspondence bias or correspondent inference? Current Psychology: Developmental, Learning, Personality, Social, 23, 41-51.
  • Forsyth, D. R., Garcia, M., Zyzniewski, L. E., Story, P. A., & Kerr, N. A. (2004). Watershed pollution and preservation: The awareness-appraisal model of environmentally positive intentions and behaviors. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 4, 115-128.
  • Forsyth, D. R., Lawrence, N. K., Burnette, J. L., & Baumeister, R. F. (2007). Attempting to improve the academic performance of struggling college students by bolstering their self-esteem: An intervention that backfired. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 26, 447-459.
  • Story, P. A., & Forsyth, D. R. (2008). Watershed conservation and preservation: Environmental engagement as helping behavior. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 28, 305-317.

Other Publications:

  • Forsyth, D. R. (2010). Group process and group psychotherapy: Social psychological foundations of change in therapeutic groups. In J. E. Maddux & J. P. Tangney (Eds.), Social psychological foundations of clinical psychology. New York: Guilford.
  • Forsyth, D. R. (2006). Effective group meetings and decision making. In R. M. MacNair (Ed.), Working for peace: A handbook of practical psychology (pp. 88-97). Atascadero, CA: Impact Publishers.
  • Forsyth, D. R. (2006). Exploring group behavior. In G. D. Oster (Ed.), Life as a psychologist (pp. 64-67). Westport, CT: Praeger.
  • Forsyth, D. R. (2004). Therapeutic groups. In M. Brewer (Ed.), Applied social psychology. UK: Blackwell.
  • Forsyth, D. R., & Burnette, J. L. (2005). The history of group research. In S. Wheelan (Ed.), The handbook of group research and practice (pp. 3-18). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Forsyth, D. R., & Nye, J. L. (2008). Seeing and being a leader: The perceptual, cognitive, and interpersonal roots of conferred influence. In C. Hoyt, G. Goethals, & D. R. Forsyth (Eds.), Social psychology of leadership. New York: Praeger.

Courses Taught:

Donelson R. Forsyth
Jepson School of Leadership Studies
Jepson Hall
University of Richmond
Richmond, Virginia 23173
United States

  • Phone: (804) 289-8461

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