Timothy D. Wilson

University of Virginia
Psychologist; Educator; Academic administrator
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Psychological Sciences

Timothy D. Wilson is Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. His research is on the limits and value of self-knowledge. He has documented the limits of introspective access to one's own mental processes and demonstrated that thinking about reasons for feelings can be disruptive and lead to poor decisions. He has showed that people can hold explicit and implicit attitudes toward the same object and demonstrated errors people make in affective forecasting. Most recently, he has shown that people find it difficult to enjoy their own thoughts. In 2002 Wilson published Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious (Harvard University Press).  The New York Times Magazine listed the book as containing one of the best 100 ideas of 2002.  In 2011 he published, Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change (Little, Brown).  The author Malcolm Gladwell said, “There are few academics who write with as much grace and wisdom as Timothy Wilson. I thought his last book Strangers to Ourselves was a masterpiece. Redirect is more than its equal."  

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