Ervin Staub is Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He received his PhD at Stanford University and taught at Harvard University. His work has focused on caring, helping, altruism and passivity in the face of others’ needs. His books on this topic are Positive social behavior and morality: Vol. 1. Social and personal influences, 1978; Vol. 2. Socialization and development, 1979 and two coedited volumes (Development and Maintenance of Prosocial Behavior: International Perspectives on Positive Morality, 1984; and Social and Moral Values: Individual and Societal Perspectives, 1989). He also edited Personality: Current Issues and Basic Research, 1980. Since the late 70’s he has also studied human destructiveness like genocide and ethnic violence (The Roots of Evil: The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence, and Patriotism in the Life of Individuals and Nations, in press.) and youth violence. His article, “The Psychology of Bystanders, Perpetrators and Heroic Helpers,” won the Otto Klineberg Intercultural and International Prize of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. He has applied his work to public issues and concerns (e.g., police violence, racism, the war in Iraq, child rearing) in articles, lectures, workshops, teacher training, interviews with journalists, and radio and T.V. appearances.

This profile was last updated on May 23, 2020

Mind & Life Connections


1995 Mind & Life Dialogue V

Altruism, Ethics, and Compassion

Topics: Compassion & Empathy