Alan C. Elms
Personal Info
  Alan C. Elms Home Page

 Alan C. Elms Home Page   Elms Personal

Brief Bio
Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae

Address and Telephone:

  • Department of Psychology
  • University of California
  • One Shields Avenue
  • Davis, California 95616-8686
  • Phone:  (530) 902-0194
  • Fax: (530) 752-2087
  • e-mail address:
  • Undergraduate Training
    B. A.   The Pennsylvania State University, 1960. Major in psychology. National Merit Scholar, 1956-1960; Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honorary societies; graduated with highest honors.

    Graduate Training
    Ph. D.   in psychology, Yale University, 1965. Major area of emphasis: personality and social psychology. Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship, 1960-1961; U. S. Public Health Service Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, 1961-1964.
    Professional Experience
    1959 (Summer):   Research Assistant to Dr. C. R. Carpenter (primate field research, Panama)

    1961 (Summer):   Research Assistant to Dr. Stanley Milgram (research on obedience to authority)

    1964-1967:   Assistant Professor of Psychology, Southern Methodist University

    1967-1972:   Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of California, Davis

    1972: (Jan.-June):   Visiting Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Dublin, Trinity College (Ireland)

    1972-1977:   Associate Professor of Psychology, University of California, Davis

    1973-1975:   Vice Chairman, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis

    1978-1981:   Chair, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis

    1981-1983:   Visiting Scholar, Department of Psychology and Social Relations, Harvard University

    1977-2002:   Professor of Psychology, University of California, Davis

    From July 1, 2002:    Professor of Psychology Emeritus, University of California, Davis

    Professional Memberships
    American Psychological Association, Fellow, Divisions 8 and 9

    American Psychological Association, Member, Divisions 10, 26, and 39

    Personology Society

    International Society of Political Psychology

    Science Fiction Research Association

    Society of Experimental Social Psychology

    Current and Recent Professional Activities
    Science Fiction Research Association, president, 1999 & 2000

    Personology Society, Co-Founder; Executive Committee, 1983-1999

    Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, editorial board, 2001-

    Imagination, Cognition and Personality, editorial board, 2000-

    Editorial consultant or reviewer, American Psychologist, Journal of Personality, Political Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Psychoanalytic Psychology, American Behavioral Scientist, Clio's Psyche, History of Psychology, Psychological Science, Leadership Quarterly, Oxford University Press, American Psychological Association Press, Westview Press, HarperCollins, Palgrave Press

    Recent University Service

    Privilege and Tenure Committee, Hearings Subcommittee, 1997-2001

    Davis Faculty Association, Executive Board, 1997-2001; vice-chair, 2000-2001

    Personality/Social Psychology Area Head, 1994-95 and 1996-98

    Honors and Awards

    Henry A. Murray Award, 1988. Awarded by Division of Personality and Social Psychology, American Psychological Association, for career contributions to personality psychology.

    UC Davis Humanities Institute Fellow, 1988-89.

    Magnar Ronning Teaching Awards Honorable Mention, 1990.

    An Outstanding Academic Book of 1995 (Choice Magazine award for Uncovering Lives)

    UC Davis Washington Center Faculty Fellow, 2001-2002.

    Faculty Marshal,  UC Davis College of Letters & Science, Fall 2005 Commencement.



    Elms, A. C. (Ed.) (1969). Role Playing, Reward, and Attitude Change. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

    Elms, A. C. (1972). Social Psychology and Social Relevance. Boston: Little, Brown.

    Elms, A. C. (1976). Attitudes. Milton Keynes, England: Open University Press.

    Elms, A. C. (1976). Personality in Politics. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

    Elms, A. C. (1994). Uncovering Lives: The Uneasy Alliance of Biography and Psychology. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Paperback reprint, 1997.


    Elms, A. C., & Janis, I. L. (1965). Counter-norm attitudes induced by consonant versus dissonant conditions of role-playing. Journal of Experimental Research in Personality, 1, 50-60.

    Elms, A. C. (1966). Influence of fantasy ability on attitude change through role playing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4, 36-43.

    Elms, A. C., & Milgram, S. (1966). Personality characteristics associated with obedience and defiance toward authoritative command. Journal of Experimental Research in Personality, 1,282-289.

    Elms, A. C. (1967). Role playing, incentive, and dissonance. Psychological Bulletin, 68, 132-148.

    Elms, A. C. (1968). The obverse of dissonance is inconsistency. Psychological Record, 18, 167-170.

    Elms, A. C. (1969). Psychological factors in right-wing extremism. In R. A. Schoenberger (Ed.), The American Right Wing, pp. 143-163. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.

    Elms, A. C. (1970). Right wingers in Dallas: Pathology and politics. Psychology Today, 3(9), 27-31, 58-59.

    Elms, A. C. (1972). Allport, Freud, and the clean little boy. Psychoanalytic Review, 59, 627-632.

    Elms, A. C. (1972). Horoscopes and Ardrey. Psychology Today, 6(5), 36, 38, 44, 126-127.

    Luscutoff, S. A., & Elms, A. C. (1975). Advice in the abortion decision. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 22, 140-146.

    Elms, A. C. (1975). The crisis of confidence in social psychology. American Psychologist, 30, 967-976.

    Elms, A. C. (1976). Psychological candidates. Human Behavior, 5(10), 25-28.

    Elms, A. C. (1976). The istists. Psychology Today, 10(6), 22.

    Elms, A. C. (1977). Alias Johnny Hooker. Psychology Today, ~0(9), 17.

    Elms, A. C. (1977). "The Three Bears": Four interpretations. Journal of American Folklore, 90, 257-273.

    Elms, A. C. (1980). Freud, Irma, Martha: Sex and marriage in the "Dream of Irma's injection." Psychoanalytic Review, 67, 83-109.

    Elms, A. C. (1981). Skinner's dark year and Walden Two. American Psychologist, 36, 470-479.

    Elms, A. C. (1982). Keeping deception honest: Justifying conditions for social scientific research stratagems. In T. L. Beauchamp et al. (Eds.), Ethical Issues in Social Science Research, pp. 232-245. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

    Elms, A. C. (1982). Freud and Minna. Psychology Today, 16(12), 40-46.

    Elms, A. C. (1983). Oz in science fiction film. The Baum Bugle: A Journal of Oz, 27(3), 2-6.

    Elms, A. C. (1984). Psychology and political science. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Psychology in Relation to Allied Disciplines, Vol. 2, Psychology and the Social Sciences, pp. 185-206. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Elms, A. C. (1984). The creation of Cordwainer Smith. Science-Fiction Studies, 11,264-283.

    Elms, A. C. (1986). From House to Haig: Private life and public style in American foreign policy advisers. Journal of Social Issues, 42(2), 33-53.

    Elms, A. C. (1987). The personalities of Henry A. Murray. Perspectives in Personality, 2, 1-14.

    Elms, A. C. (1987). From "Nightfall" to Dawn: Asimov as acrophobe. Extrapolation, 28, 130-139.

    Elms, A. C. (1988). Freud as Leonardo: Why the first psychobiography went wrong. Journal of Personality, 56, 19-40.

    Elms, A. C. (1988). (a) Psychology in science fiction. (b) Cordwainer Smith (Paul M. A. Linebarger). In J. Gunn (Ed.), The New Science Fiction Encyclopedia. New York: Viking Penguin. (a) pp. 370-372; (b) pp. 422-423.

    Elms, A. C. (1989). Cloud, castle, claustrum: Nabokov as a Freudian in spite of himself. In D. Rancour-Laferriere (Ed.), Russian Literature and Psychoanalysis. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

    Elms, A. C. (1989). Darker than he thought: Jack Williamson's fictionalization of his psychoanalysis. Extrapolation, 30, 205-218.

    Harrison, A. A., & Elms, A. C. (1990). Psychology and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Behavioral Science, 35, 207-218.

    Elms, A. C. (1991). Origins of the underpeople: Cats, Kuomintang and Cordwainer Smith. In T. Shippey (Ed.), Fictional Space: Essays on Contemporary Science Fiction (Essays and Studies 1990), 166-193. Oxford: Basil Blackwell/Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press.

    Elms, A. C. (1991.) Cordwainer Smith. In M. J. Bruccoli (Ed.), Bibliography of American Fiction: 1919-1988, Vol. 2, 461-462. New York: Facts on File.

    Elms, A. C. (1993.) Allport's Personality and Allport's personality. In K. M. Craik, R. T. Hogan, & R. N. Wolfe (Eds.), Fifty Years of Personality Psychology, 39-55. New York: Plenum.

    Heller, B., & Elms, A. C. (1994). Elvis Presley: Character and charisma. In G. DePaoli (Ed.), Elvis + Marilyn: 2 x Immortal, 73-97. New York: Rizzoli.

    Elms, A. C. (1995). Introduction to Norstrilia. In Cordwainer Smith, Norstrilia, corrected edition, ed. James Mann, vii-xiii. Framingham, MA: NESFA Press.

    Elms, A. C. (1995). Obedience in retrospect. Journal of Social Issues, 51 (3), 21-31. [Available in the "Virtual Library" section of this website.]

    Elms, A. C. (1995). A psychologist investigates Cordwainer Smith. Alpha Ralpha Boulevard [Tokyo], #10, 7-8.

    Elms, A. C. (1998). Psychohistory and enlightenment. Clio's Psyche: A Psychohistory Forum Quarterly, 5 (1), 28-29.

    Elms, A. C. (1999). Sigmund Freud. In M. Runco & S. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Creativity, vol. 1, 745-751. San Diego: Academic Press.

    Elms, A. C. (2000). Painwise in space: The psychology of isolation in Cordwainer Smith and James Tiptree, Jr. In G. Westfahl (Ed.), Space and Beyond: The Frontier Theme in Science Fiction. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 131-140.

    Elms, A. C. (2000). From Canberra to Norstrilia: The Australian adventures of Cordwainer Smith. Foundation, 29 (whole #78), 44-58.

    Elms, A. C. (2000). Literature and psychology. In A. E. Kazdin (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Psychology. New York: American Psychological Association and Oxford University Press.

    Elms, A. C. (2001). Between Mottile and Ambiloxi: Cordwainer Smith as a Southern writer. Extrapolation, 42, 124-136.

    Elms, A. C. (2001). Apocryphal Freud: Sigmund Freud's most famous 'quotations' and their actual sources. Annual of Psychoanalysis, Volume XXIX: Sigmund Freud and His Impact on the Modern World, pp. 83-104. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press.

    Elms, A. C. (2002). Responsibilities. In R. J. Pellegrini & T. R. Sarbin (Eds.), Between Fathers and Sons: Critical Incident Narratives in the Development of Men's Lives, pp. 69-76. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press.

    Elms, A. C. (2002). Psychoanalysis and biography. In E. Erwin (Ed.), The Freud Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge.

    Elms, A. C. (2002). Behind the jet-propelled couch: Cordwainer Smith and Kirk Allen. New York Review of Science Fiction, May.

    Elms, A. C. (2002). Cordwainer Smith in Japan. Science Fiction Studies, 29, p. 529.

    Elms, A. C. (2003). Sigmund Freud, psychohistorian. Annual of Psychoanalysis, vol. XXXI, Psychoanalysis and History, pp. 65-78. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press.

    Elms, A. C. (2004). The psychologist who empathized with rats: James Tiptree, Jr. as Alice B. Sheldon, PhD. Science Fiction Studies, 31, 81-96.

    Elms, A. C. (2005). If the glove fits: Choosing a theory in psychobiography. In W. T. Schultz (Ed.), The Handbook of Psychobiography. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Elms, A. C., & Heller, B. (2005). Twelve ways to say 'Lonesome': Assessing error and control in the music of Elvis Presley. In W. T. Schultz (Ed.), The Handbook of Psychobiography. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Elms, A. C., & Song, A. V. (2005). Alive and kicking: The problematics of political psychology. In W. T. Schultz (Ed.), The Handbook of Psychobiography. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Elms, A. C. (2005). Metafiction and recursiveness (519-521); Psychology (638-640); Norstrilia by Cordwainer Smith (1186-1188). In G. Westfahl (Ed.), The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

    Elms, A. C. (2005). Jung's lives. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 41, 331-346.

    Elms, A. C. (2005). Introduction to "The Case of Brew." Journal of Personality, 73, 1109-1110.

    Elms, A. C. (2007). The woman we didn't see. Science Fiction Studies, 34, 117-128.

    Elms, A. C. (2007). Psychobiography and case study methods. In R. W. Robins, R. C. Fraley, & R. F. Krueger (Eds.), The Handbook of Research Methods in Personality Psychology. New York: Guilford Press, pp. 97-113.

    Elms, A. C. (2007). Erikson, Erik Homburger. In New Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Volume 2. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale/Cengage Learning.

    Elms, A. C. (2008). Twenty-two years in the Karen Fowler Writing Group. SFRA Review, Fall, Issue #286, pp. 5-8.

    Elms, A. C. (2009). Obedience lite. American Psychologist, 64, 32-36.

    Elms, A. C. (2009).  Afterword: "Painful but not fatal." In Chip Kidd, The Learners, revised trade paperback edition, pp. b-i. New York: Harper Perennial.

    Elms, A. C. (In press). Personal account of a depression-era log home near Batesville, Arkansas. Ohio Valley Historical Archaeology, 24, xx-xx (6 pp.)

    Web Publications:

    Elms, A. C. (2001). Solar sails in science fiction. Planetary Society Web Page:

    Elms, A. C. (2002). Cordwainer Smith Scholarly Corner. The Remarkable Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith Web Page:

    Elms, A. C. (2003). Rae Carlson: An exemplary life. Web Page: Rae Carlson

    Book Reviews by A. C. Elms:

    Attitude and Attitude Change, by H. C. Triandis. American Scientist, 1972, 60(1), 93.

    Persuasion: The Theory and Practice of Manipulative Communication, by G. N. Gordon. Public Opinion Quarterly, 1972, 36, 481-482.

    Political Alienation and Political Behavior, by D. C. Schwartz. Psychology Today, 1973, 7(6), 22, 138.

    The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, "edited" by N. Meyer. Psychology Today, 1975(January), 16-17.

    Humanizing Social Psychology, by M. B. Smith. American Scientist, 1976, 64(1), 95.

    Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, by D. Kearns. Psychology Today, 1976, 10(4), 88, 92.

    The Political Mind and the Political Environment, by W. L. Bennett. Contemporary Psychology, 1976, 21, 632-633.

    Faces in a Cloud: Subjectivity in Personality Theory, by R. D. Stolorow & G. E. Atwood. Contemporary Psychology, 1979, 24, 905-906.

    A History of Psychology in Autobiography, vol. 7, ed. by G. Lindzey. Review of Psychoanalytic Books, 1983-84, 2, 616-619.

    Michelangelo: A Psychoanalytic Study of His Life and Images, by R. S. Liebert. Contemporary Psychology, 1984, 29, 586-587.

    Woodrow Wilson: A Medical and Psychological Biography, by E. A. Weinstein. Review of Psychoanalytic Books, 1984, 3, 109-113.

    Dark Valley Destiny: The Life of Robert E. Howard, by L. S. decamp et al. Science Fiction and Fantasy Review, 1984(April), 34.

    A Cordwainer Smith Concordance, by A. R. Lewis. Science-Fiction Studies, 1985, 12, 226-227.

    Freud and His Father, by M. Krull. Psychology Today, 1986, 20(8), 70-71.

    Personality and the Prediction of Behavior, ed. by R. A. Zucker, J. Aronoff, & A. I. Rabin. Contemporary Psychology, 1986, 31,282-283.

    Introspection in Biography: The Biographer's Quest for Self-Awareness, ed. by S. H. Baron & C. Pletsch; The Leader: Psychohistorical Essays, ed. by C. B. Strozier & D. Offer; and The Structure of Mind in History: Five Major Figures in Psychohistory, by P. Pomper. Political Psychology, 1987, 8, 263-267.

    Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard, by R. Miller. New York Review of Science Fiction, 1988, 2, 16-19.

    A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed, by J. Atack. Science Fiction Research Association Newsletter, 1991 (June), 188, 13-15.

    A Cordwainer Smith Checklist, by M. Bennett. Science Fiction Research Association Newsletter, 1991 (November), 192, 23.

    Robert E. Howard: Selected Letters 1931-1936, ed. by G. Lord, R. Burke, S. T. Joshi, & S. Behrends. Science Fiction Research Association Newsletter, 1991 (November), 192, 39.

    Report on a Writing Man and Other Reminiscences of Robert E. Howard, by T. C. Smith Jr., and Robert E. Howard's Fight Magazine #3, by R. E. Howard. Science Fiction Research Association Review, 1992 (April), 197.

    Isaac Asimov, by D. Hassler. Science-Fiction Studies, 1992, 20, 118-119.

    The Rediscovery of Man: The Complete Short Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith, ed. J. A. Mann. Extrapolation, 1994, 35 (2), 163-166.

    The Charismatic Bond: Political Behavior in Time of Crisis, by D. Madsen & P. G. Snow. Political Psychology, 1995, 16, 661-662.

    The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Vol. 1: The Ultimate Egoist, ed. P. Williams. Extrapolation, 1996, 37 (1), 100-102.

    Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives, by F. J. Sulloway. Biography, 1998, 21, 58-62.

    The Inner Elvis, by P. Whitmer. Contemporary Psychology, 43, 1998, 432-433.

    The Psychological Assessment of Presidential Candidates, by S. A. Renshon. Political Psychology, 20, 222-225.

    How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics, by N. K. Hayles. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 36 (2), 192-193.

    Meet Me at Infinity, by J. Tiptree, Jr. Science Fiction Research Association Review, # 246, 2000.

    Identity's Architect: A Biography of Erik H. Erikson, by L. J. Friedman. Contemporary Psychology, 2001.

    The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram, by Thomas Blass. PsycCRITIQUES, October 26, 2004, Vol. 49, Supplement 5.

    Putnam Camp: Sigmund Freud, James Jackson Putnam, and the Purpose of American Psychology, by George Prochnik. PsycCRITIQUES, May 9, 2007, Vol. 52, Release 19, Article 4.

    Freud's Wizard: Ernest Jones and the Transformation of Psychoanalysis, by Brenda Maddox. PsycCRITIQUES, August 22, 2007, Vol. 52, Release 34, Article 17.

    Alan C. Elms Home Page   Elms Personal Text Version | *Standard Version

    Alan C. Elms
    Alan C. Elms Home Page

    All text, layout and images on the domain are Copyright © 1999-2008 by Alan C. Elms. All rights reserved.