Research Professor Susan Harter, PhD
Dr. Harter has served as a Professor of Psychology and Head of the Developmental Psychology Program (both graduate and postdoctoral components) at the University of Denver. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, she received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1966, obtaining a joint degree in developmental and child-clinical psychology. She remained at Yale, as the first faculty woman in the Psychology department, accepting a joint faculty appointment in the Psychology Department and the Yale Child Study Center, where she served as Chief Psychologist. She came to the University of Denver in 1974. Her research, focusing on self-esteem, the construction of multiple-selves, false-self behavior, classroom motivation, and emotional development, has been funded by NICHD and by the W. T. Grant Foundation.
Her research has resulted in the development of a battery of assessment instruments that are in wide-spread use in this country and abroad. She has published numerous scholarly articles and chapters, and has summarized much of her recent work in a new book entitled The construction of the self: Developmental and sociocultural foundations. (Guilford Press, 2012). Her most recent interests include a detailed analysis of self-development over childhood and adolescence, self-processes in the classroom, the societal trend to unrealistically enhance the self-esteem and self-concepts of our youth, the role of the self-system in promoting school violence, cross-cultural approaches to the self, a resurrection of the Jamesian I-self, and a search for the authenticity of the self.
Dr. Harter has served on NIMH study sections, including chairing the committee on Cognition, Emotion, and Personality. She has also been a member of several editorial boards (Developmental Psychology, Child Development, Psychological Review, Psychological Bulletin, Development and Psychopathology, and the American Education Research Journal).
She has both a national and international reputation. She has given numerous invited colloquium talks in this country. These include Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Rochester, Brandeis University, University of Colorado, University of Texas, Arizona State University, University of Utah, and University of Florida. On the more global stage, she has given talks at the University of Beijing, The University of Geneva, and has invited addresses at Athens University in Greece, and in the international Self conference in Singapore, where she will receive an award as the Self Researcher of the Year.
At the University of Denver, she received two major faculty awards, the University Lecturer of the Year, in 1990, and the John Evans Professorship Award in 1993. The latter is the highest scholarly honor the University can bestow upon a faculty member. Both awards are for national and international recognition in one’s chosen field of research. In two separate peer-reviewed publications she has been named as one of the 50 most influential developmental psychologists both in the United States and on the international stage.
She is poised to continue to take these skills to our Mediator without Borders program, where she has already brought a vibrant research program to fruition, and welcomes future ventures with each of the Mediators without Borders Int’l ADR Centers.