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MORTON DEUTSCH

Morton Deutsch is E.L. Thorndike Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, where he founded the College's International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution. After flying in some 30 bombing missions over Nazi Germany during World War II, he studied at MIT with the psychologist Kurt Lewin and developed his Theory of Cooperation and Competition. His work has included a landmark study of  group tension and racial attitudes that is credited with helping to end legally sanctioned racial segregation in the United States; an experiment called the Acme-Bolt Trucking Bolt Game, which demonstrates that people will use opportunities to apply threats in competition, leading to a lack of cooperation; and the pioneering use of the Prisoner's Dilemma to study trust between small groups or pairings of individuals.

In 1989, leaders of both the Polish Communist Party and Solidarity credited Deutsch's ideas as a major factor in the peaceful end of Communist rule. Today, The Handbook of Conflict Resolution, co-edited by Deutsch, current ICCCR director Peter Coleman and TC alumnus Eric Marcus, is considered a bible of the field.

Deutsch is  founding member of the World Dignity University initiative and Global Advisory Board Member of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies organization. He has served as President of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and the International Society of Political Psychology, and he headed divisions of the American Psychological Association, the Eastern Psychological Association and the New York State Psychological Association. Among his many honors, he has received the Kurt Lewin Memorial Award, the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Association for Conflict Management, and  the Teachers College Medal for Distinguished Service to Education

Learn more about TC's Departments of Organization & Leadership, International & Transcultural Studies and Counseling & Clinical Psychology.

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Premiered on 9/20/2013

About the Series

In "Mini Moments with Big Thinkers," leading figures in Teachers College's history discuss groundbreaking ideas, research and initiatives born at the College during the past half-century. The Mini Moments are drawn from the College’s Oral History Project, a collection of more than 90 videotaped interviews conducted by Melanie Shorin and Jessica Wiederhorn, the principals of The Narrative Trust, a private firm that conducts and captures the oral histories of institutions, communities and individuals. Produced in conjunction with TC’s Department of Development and External Affairs, the Mini-Moments are airing throughout 2013.

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