about me -
I study human social behavior from an evolutionary perspective, and when I am not conducting or writing up psychology experiments, I write for the average person-on-the-street. I cover topics as diverse as why we grieve so deeply over the death of our dogs, why clowns creep us out, and why we remember our high school years so vividly. I have been involved with several documentary films (see a trailer for one of them).
The flexibility of my interests is reflected in my consulting activities. I have done everything from designing interactive exhibits for a zoo to analyzing medical studies for a law firm. I once worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida Department of Community Affairs on the causes and consequences of population growth in the Florida Keys, and I have given an invited lecture and facilitated a workshop on "Alpha Males" and the violence of young men at the C. G. Jung Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
My current collaborations are with Hogan Assessments, a personality assessment company based in Tulsa, and with VU University in Amsterdam where I serve on the Advisory Board for an ambitious research project on workplace gossip funded by the European Research Council (ERC).
in Western Illinois.
*I was a wrestler in high school (two-time state placer) and in college (NCAA Division II program,
team captain-senior year), and many of my academic colleagues are unaware that I masqueraded as
a college wrestling coach for 30 years, with 12 years as a head coach.
*My wife (Maryjo) and I have two grown children (Tim & Maura), one ungrown grandchild (Colleen),
and a dog named Audrey Hepburn.
*I had the distinct privilege of serving as Stephen Colbert's host and introducing him when he
delivered the 2006 commencement address at Knox College.
*I have been lucky enough to have experienced the animals of South Africa and Tanzania in the wild.
(Click on the elephant to see pictures of an elephant attacking my car.)
Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology (1981)
(also did graduate work in Zoology)
B.S. in Psychology (1974 - magna ignoramus)
(with extensive coursework in Biology, English Literature, & Philosophy)
Kingston, Pennsylvania (1970)
(The founding mission of King's was "to educate the sons of coal miners.")
Also includes the Dynamics of Human Conversations