Morton Deutsch | Teachers College Columbia University

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Morton Deutsch

E.L. Thorndike Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Education


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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Published Friday, Sep. 20, 2013


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