Biographical Sketch

Wegner studies the role of thought in self-control and in social life.  He has investigated thought suppression, finding that people become preoccupied with a white bear when they are asked not to think about it, and has researched mental control of other kinds as well.  He has studied transactive memory--how people in groups and relationships remember things cooperatively--and action identification--what people think they're doing. He has also explored the experience conscious will, and is currently focusing on mind perception--how people perceive human and nonhuman minds.  His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and by the National Institute of Mental Health. A 1996-1997 Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, he is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, recipient of the William James Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, and the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. He also occasionally writes about himself in the third person.


B.S. (1970), M.A. (1972), Ph.D (1974) Michigan State University

Positions Held
  • Assistant Professor (1974-1979) to Associate Professor (1979-1985) to Professor (1985-1990), Trinity University, San Antonio
  • Visiting Scholar, University of Texas at Austin, 1980 
  • Chair, Department of Psychology, Trinity University, 1988-1989
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study, University of Virginia 1990-1991
  • Professor and Director of Graduate Program in Social Psychology, University of Virginia, 1990-1996, 1997- 2000
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, 1996-1997
  • William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia, 1999-2000
  • Professor, Harvard University, 2000-
  • John Lindsley Professor of Psychology in Memory of William James, Harvard University, 2011-