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Peter Salovey, PhD

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Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology


President of the University; Professor, Chronic Disease Epidemiology



Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology

President of the University; Professor, Chronic Disease Epidemiology


Peter Salovey is the twenty-third president of Yale University and the Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology. He holds secondary faculty appointments in the School of Management, the School of Public Health, the Institution for Social and Policy Studies, and the Sociology Department. He became president of the university in July 2013.

President Salovey has led the development of new programs and facilities across the schools and departments of Yale, including restructuring the leadership of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and opening two new residential colleges, expanding Yale College enrollment by 15 percent. He is advancing innovative teaching on campus; amplifying Yale’s partnerships in Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world; and enhancing multidisciplinary collaboration and entrepreneurial opportunity for faculty and students. President Salovey is committed to increasing access to a Yale education for students worldwide regardless of their financial background.

Prior to becoming president, President Salovey served as the provost of Yale University from 2008 to 2013. As provost, he facilitated strategic planning and initiatives such as enhancing career development and mentoring opportunities for all Yale faculty members; promoting faculty diversity; creating the Office of Academic Integrity; establishing the University-wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct; developing the West Campus; and overseeing the university’s budget during the global financial crisis.

Other leadership roles at Yale have included serving as chair of the Department of Psychology (2000 to 2003); dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (2003 to 2004); and dean of Yale College (2004 to 2008).

After receiving an A.B. (psychology) and A.M. (sociology) from Stanford University in 1980 with departmental honors and university distinction, President Salovey earned three degrees at Yale in psychology: M.S. (1983), M.Phil. (1984), and Ph.D. (1986). Since joining the Yale faculty in 1986, he has studied the connections among emotion, health communication, and health behavior, with a special focus on emotional intelligence, in collaboration with Jack Mayer. He played key roles in multiple Yale programs including the Health, Emotion, and Behavior Laboratory, which President Salovey founded and is now the Center for Emotional Intelligence; the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS; and the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program.

President Salovey has authored or edited over a dozen books translated into eleven languages and published hundreds of journal articles and essays. In addition to teaching and mentoring scores of graduate students, President Salovey has won both the William Clyde DeVane Medal for Distinguished Scholarship and Teaching in Yale College and the Lex Hixon ’63 Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Pretoria (2009), Shanghai Jiao Tong University (2014), National Tsing Hua University (2014), Harvard University (2015), McGill University (2018), University of Haifa (2018), and Vytautas Magnus University (2019). In 2013, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and to the National Academy of Medicine.

To read his full biography, please visit


Other Departments & Organizations

Education & Training

Pre-doctoral Intern
West Haven Veterans Administration Medical Center (1986)
Yale University, Psychology (1986)
Yale University, Psychology (1984)
Yale University, Psychology (1983)
Stanford University, Sociology (1980)
Stanford University, Psychology (1980)



The program of research conducted in my laboratory concerns two general issues in social/personality psychology: (a) the psychological significance and function of human moods and emotions and (b) the application of principles derived from research in social/personality psychology to the promotion of health protective behaviors.

The Psychological Consequences of Mood and Emotion

My research program on mood and emotion is focused on the psychological consequences of feeling states. The goal is to specify the processes by which affect influences thought and action. I view emotions as organizing processes that enable individuals to think and behave adaptively. This perspective can be contrasted with a more traditional one that sees affect as a disorganized interruption of mental activity that must be minimized or controlled. My students and I are investigating the consequences of the arousal of moods and emotions in several different domains including (a) cognitive activities such as autobiographical memory, reasoning, and problem-solving, (b) perception and recall of physical symptoms and the development of health beliefs, (c) interpersonal behavior and close relationships, and (d) complex social emotions such as jealousy and envy. A theoretical framework called Emotional Intelligence unifies these different research thrusts. This perspective emphasizes the strategies that people learn in order to appraise and express their emotions accurately, understand the feelings of other people, regulate their emotions and the feelings of other people, and use emotions to motivate, plan, and achieve in life.

Applying Social Psychological Principles to Foster Healthy Behavior

Most of our research attention in the health promotion area concerns the effectiveness of health messages designed to promote cancer and HIV/AIDS prevention and early detection behaviors. The adoption of these healthy behaviors often depends on the persuasiveness of a public service announcement, brochure, print advertisement, educational program, or communication from a health professional. In community-based, field experiments, often with vulnerable populations, we compare the effectiveness of persuasive appeals and social psychological interventions that vary in terms of how information is framed (as benefits versus costs) and whether it is tailored to the health information processing styles and other characteristics of recipients. The goal of our research is to investigate the role of framing and other communication and social influence variables in developing maximally persuasive messages promoting cancer and HIV/AIDS prevention and early detection primarily in inner-city minority and other under-served populations. We are also concerned with the manner by which moods and emotions influence the processing of health information, shape health beliefs, and motivate subsequent health behaviors, and the role of emotional arousal in the persuasiveness of health communications.

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms; Emotional Intelligence; Emotions; Health Behavior; Health Communication; Psychiatry and Psychology; Psychological Phenomena; Psychology, Applied; Psychology, Social; Risk Reduction Behavior

Research at a Glance

Yale Co-Authors

Frequent collaborators of Peter Salovey's published research.








Academic Achievements and Community Involvement

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    Elected Member

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    Elected Member

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    G. Stanley Hall Lecturer

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    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Excellence Award

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    Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal

Get In Touch


Academic Office Number
Mailing Address

Yale University

PO Box 208229

New Haven, CT 06520-8229

United States