Nevitt Sanford (1909–1996) was professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. He studied ethnocentrism and antisemitism, and was one of the authors of The Authoritarian Personality. His co-authors in this work were Theodor W. ...
Nevitt Sanford (1909–1996) was professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. He studied ethnocentrism and antisemitism, and was one of the authors of The Authoritarian Personality. His co-authors in this work were Theodor W. Adorno, Else Frenkel-Brunswik and Daniel Levinson. Sanford studied the interactions between social systems and personality, arguing that social conditions could encourage those with dogmatic biases to persecute those groups against which they were prejudiced.
Sanford was born in Chatham, Virginia, son and grandson of Baptist ministers. He took his first degree at the University of Richmond. All of his brothers also attended and played football at Richmond. Even today, Nevitt still holds the record for the longest run, receiving the kickoff at the end line and running all the way to the end zone. This was followed first by a master's at Columbia University and then a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University. He joined the staff at Harvard Psychological Clinic in 1935. In 1940 he became professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1950 Berkeley dismissed him (and 11 other professors) because of their refusal to sign the loyalty oath.
After Berkeley, Sanford briefly became a research affiliate at the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations in London before returning to the US to work at Vassar College.
In 1959 as a result of a finding of the California Supreme Court, Sanford was reinstated at Berkeley. Once reinstated, he immediately quit. In 1961 he moved to become a professor at Stanford.
In the 1950s and early 60s he played a lead role in a major study of higher education (publications included: The American College (1962) and Where Colleges Fail (1967)). These studies argued that there was an overemphasis on academic publishing – a phenomenon often referred to as the "publish or perish" syndrome, and that this was leading to a deterioration in teaching quality.
In 1968 he founded the Wright Institute.
Sanford was the single or joint author of approximately 200 academic articles and around 12 books.
Centennial Award for Education, New York State University College of Fredonia, 1967
Hon. LHD, University of Nevada, Colgate University, 1968
Research Scientist Award, NIMH, 1969-74
Kurt Lewin Memorial Award, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, 1969
Award for Distinguished Contribution in Clinical Psychology, 1970
President, Western Psychological Association, 1971
Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement, American Board of Psychology, 1978
N. Sanford Award, International Society of Political Psychology, 1979
H.A. Murray Award, Division 9, 1980
Book Series Co-Editor, Behavioral Science (Jossey- Bass)
Editorial Consultant: Journal of Consulting Psychology, 1946-64, Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1952-60, Transaction, 1963- , Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences, 1963- , Community Mental Health Journal, 1965- , Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 1972
1943 Some personality correlates of morale. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 38, 8-20 (with H. S. Conrad).
1944 Some specific war attitudes of the college students. Journal of Psychology, 17, 153-85 (with H. S. Conrad).
1944 A scale for the measurement of anti-semitism. Journal of Psychology, 17, 339-70.
1945 Some personality factors in anti-semitism. Journal of Psychology, 20, 271-91 (with E. Frenkel-Brunswick).
1950 The Authoritarian Personality. Harper (with T. W. Adorno, E. Frenkel-Brunswick and D. Levinson).
1955 A new instrument for studying authoritarianism in personality. Journal of Psychology. 40, 73-84 (with M. Freedman and H. Webster).
1956 Personality development during the college years. Journal of"Social Issues. 12, l-7 l.
1956 Surface and depth in the individual personality. Psychological Review, 63, 349-59.
1968 Education for individual development. American Journal ()/"Orthopsychiatry, 38, 858-68.
1970 Issues in Personality. Jossey-Bass.
1970 Whatever happened' w action research? Journal !!f"Social Issues, 26, 3-23. 197 l Sanctions/(Jr E1•il: Sources of"Social Destructi\'eness. Jossey-Bass (with C. Comstock). l97 l Science and social development. Education, 92, l-18.
1979 College and Character. Montaigne (with 1. Axelrod).
1980 Learning After College. Montaigne (with C. Comstock).