Tiffany & Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor; Director, Center for Cognitive & Social Neuroscience; Chair, Social Psychology Program

Office Phone: (773) 702-1962
Fax: (773) 702-0886
Office: Kelly Hall 406
Labs: BPSB 421

Field Specialties

Social Neuroscience
Social Isolation & Social Resilience
Evaluative Processes (e.g., Emotions, Affects, & Attitudes)

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What is our fundamental nature?  As a social species, humans create emergent organizations beyond the individual - structues that range from dyads, families, and groups to cities, civilizations, and international alliances.  These emergent structures evolved hand in hand with neural, hormonal, cellular, and genetic mechanisms to support them because the consequent social behaviors helped humans survive and reproduce.  We investigate these neural, hormonal, cellular, and genetic mechanisms and their effect on the cognition, emotion, behavior, and health - an approach we term social neuroscience (Cacioppo & Berntson, 1992, 2004; Cacioppo et al., 2000, 2002; Cacioppo et al., 2007; Decety & Cacioppo, 2010).  Social neuroscience represents an interdisciplinary approach devoted to understanding how biological systems implement social processes and behavior and to using biological concepts and methods to inform and refine theories of social processes and behavior.  We use a variety of methods in our research, including functional magnetic resonance (fMRI), high performance electrical neuroimaging, and event-related brain potentials, psychophysiological assessments, and neuroendocrine and immune assays, and in collaboration with colleagues we also have begun to bring quantitative genetics to bear on our research questions.


John Cacioppo did his doctoral work at Ohio State University in Psychology, where he received the Alumni Award for Graduate Student Research and Creative Achievement (1977) for his dissertation on the neural modulation of social cognition. He served at the University of Notre Dame as Assistant Professor (1977-1979); University of Iowa as Assistant Professor (1979-1981), Associate Professor (1981-1985), and Professor (1985-1989); Ohio State University as Professor (1989-1998) and University Chair Professor (1998-1999); and University of Chicago as the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology (1999-present) where he also serves as the Director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience. Author of more than 500 articles and books (total citations > 100,000; h-index = 134), Cacioppo currently serves as a Member of the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science. He has also served as the Chair of the Board of Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences at the National Research Council; a Member of the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate; a Member of the National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review (CSR) Advisory Council; a Member of the Expert Panel on Program to Reduce Social Isolation, Mary Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark; a Member of the Board of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences Foundation; Chair of the International Board of the Cluster of Excellence “Languages and Emotion” at Free University Berlin; and a Member of the External Advisory Committee for the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois. He has been elected to Fellow status in 18 scientific societies, member of the Society of Experimental Psychologists (2003), the Society for Experimental Social Psychology (1981), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2003). His awards include the Troland Award (National Academy of Sciences, 1989); Campbell Award (2000, Theoretical Innovation Prize (2008) and Award for Distinguished Service (2008) from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology; Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award (2002) and Presidential Citation (2008) from the American Psychological Association; Scientific Impact Award (2009) and Distinguished Scientist Award (2015) from the Society for Experimental Social Psychology; Distinguished Scholar Award from the Social and Affective Neuroscience Society (2016); and Career Achievement Award from the Chicago Society for Neuroscience (2016). He has served as President of the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Social Neuroscience, the Society for Psychophysiological Research, the Society for Consumer Psychology, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and He has served the Chair of the Psychology Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has also served as the Editor of Psychophysiology; the Associate Editor of Psychological Review and Social Neuroscience; the Advisory Editor for Perspectives on Psychological Science, and Consulting Editor for a variety of journals including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Personality Processes and Individual Differences, Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Social Neuroscience, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Review, and Psychological Review.