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Scott O. LilienfeldSamuel Candler Dobbs Professor of PsychologyIn memoriam: our colleague, friend, scholar and mentor (1960-2020)


Dr. Lilienfeld was born and raised in New York City. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University in 1982 and his Ph.D. in Psychology (Clinical) from the University of Minnesota in 1990. He completed his clinical internship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1986-1987. He was assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany from 1990 to 1994, and was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Emory since 1994. He was also a visiting fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Dr. Lilienfeld was a Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology at Emory. He was Editor-in-Chief of the APS journal Clinical Psychological Science and Associate Editor of the APA journal Archives of Scientific Psychology; he also sat on the editorial boards of several journals, including American Psychologist. He was a president of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (Section 3 of APA Division 12) and the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy. He was a Fellow of, and Executive Board Member of, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and a Consulting Editor for Skeptical Inquirer magazine. He was also a member of the Executive Committee of the Heterodox Academy.

Scott O. Lilienfeld memorialized as 'one of the most influential figures in contemporary clinical psychology' in American Psychologist
Scott Lilienfeld remembered for advancing psychology while embodying kindness - Emory News
Scott Lilienfeld, Psychologist Who Questioned Psychology, Dies at 59New York Times
Make a donation to the Scott O. Lilienfeld APS Travel Award
Share your memories of Dr. Lilienfeld

Tree Dedication

February 27, 2021
Lullwater Park, Emory University 

We recently honored our mentor, colleague, and friend Scott O. Lilienfeld with a tree planting of an American Beech tree ( photographed, right) in Lullwater Park.

As many of you know, this was Scott's favorite place to walk on campus. These walks allowed him to share and debate ideas with others,  while simultaneously enjoying the beauty of nature.

The tree dedication was opened by Kristin Landfield, followed by a reading of Mary Oliver's 'When I am Among the Trees'. Other attendees shared their own memories of Scott. Katie Fowler offered a summary of Dr. Lilienfeld's contributions to psychology and his students. Please see, below, a video and PDF summary of the event. 

Donations to support initiatives like the preservation of the park can be made in Dr. Lilienfeld’s honor to the Sterk Landscaping Fund at 

Click here for a PDF summary of the Tree Dedication held on February 27, 2021 at Lullwater Park.

Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (SSCP) Honor Dr. Lilienfeld

Following Dr. Lilienfeld's death in September 2020, the SSCP Board, with input from the SSCP membership, convened a committee to prepare a listing of Scott's most important works as a way to honor his contributions

Dr. Lilienfeld was awarded the SSCP Clinical Science Visionary Award in 2019. Hear him speak about "Evidence-based Practice and Why We Need it: Conceptions and Misconceptions" at a SSCP Virtual Clinical Lunch, back in 2016. 



Cognitive biases (e.g., confirmation bias) and their relations to personality and psychopathology; scientific thinking and its application to psychology; the causes and assessment of personality disorders (especially psychopathic and narcissistic personality disorders); psychiatric classification and diagnosis; pseudoscience and clinical psychology; evidence-based clinical practice; philosophy of science and psychology.

Research Projects

  • Cognitive biases and personality/personality disorder traits
  • The assessment and behavioral implications of intellectual humility
  • The efficacy of debiasing techniques
  • Correlates of left- and right-wing authoritarianism; causes of ideological extremism
  • The interpersonal implications of psychopathic personality traits
  • The detection and correlates of successful psychopathy
  • Psychopathy and empathy
  • Popular psychology myths and misconceptions
  • Relation between federal grant funding and scholarly productivity/quality
Lab Members at the Time of His Death

Shauna Bowes (4th year graduate student, clinical psychology program)
Research Interests: I am interested in examining the associations among personality traits (both normal and abnormal), intellectual humility, and cognitive biases and bias blind spot. By investigating these relations, I hope to clarify the nomological networks of these variables and elucidate potential debiasing interventions that can improve decision-making processes.

Thomas Costello (5th year graduate student, clinical psychology program)
Research interests: My research interests include the conceptualization and measurement of authoritarianism and political extremism on both ends of the ideological spectrum; pathological personality; the relations between personality traits and cognitive styles, on the one hand, and authoritarian traits, political ideology, and worldview, on the other; the construction and validation of self-report measures; and the implications of viewpoint diversity in the sciences.