Dr. James M. Jones is Trustees’ Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Africana Studies, and Director of the Center for the Study of Diversity at the University of Delaware. He is former Executive Director for Public Interest and Director of the Minority Fellowship Program at the American Psychological Association. As Director of the Minority Fellowship Program he won 25 million dollars in training grant funds from the National Institute of Mental Health to support the professional development of about 1,500 students of color who otherwise may not have been able to attend graduate training programs in Psychology and also Neuroscience.
Dr. Jones earned a BA from Oberlin College (1963), an MA from Temple University (1967) and his Ph.D. in social Psychology from Yale University (1970). He was a faculty member of the Psychology and Social Relations Department at Harvard University and has taught in the Psychology Department at Howard University.
He published the first edition of Prejudice and Racism in 1972 and the second edition in 1997. In 2014 together with Jack Dovidio and Deborah Vietz he published The Psychology of Diversity: Beyond Prejudice and Racism which picks up from where Prejudice and Racism left off. More recently, Dr. Jones together with Stephanie Kershchbaum and Laura Eisenman co-edited, Negotiating Disability: Disclosure and Higher Education (2017).
Dr. Jones’s research program has focused on racism, temporal orientation and its influence on personality and the personality orientations of Black Americans that evolved from African origins and which represent adaptations to the challenges of oppression, marginalization and discrimination in the United States. In 1973, Dr. Jones spent a year in Trinidad & Tobago on a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship studying Calypso humor which led to the development of the TRIOS Model of the Psychology of African American culture. This model involves five dimensions summarized by the acronym TRIOS representing Time, Rhythm, Improvisation, Oral Discourse and Spirituality. These characteristics are useful for coping and adapting to threatening and uncertain contexts. Dr. Jones’ research reveals that adopting a triosic self has positive consequences for the psychological health and self-esteem among Black Americans, as well as others regardless of race.
Dr. Jones is a social psychologist and serves on several editorial boards including the Journal of Black Psychology, and is past-President of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. His numerous awards include the 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for the Study of Ethnicity, Culture and Race; the 2001 Kurt Lewin Award and the 2009 Distinguished Service Award by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues; the 2007 Distinguished Psychologist Award by the Association of Black Psychologists; the 2011 Lifetime Contribution to Psychology award from the American Psychological Association; the 2018 Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in Psychology in the Public Interest, and most recently, the 2018 Morton Deutsch Award for Distinguished Contributions to Social Justice from the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Columbia Teachers College.
- James has been a dear and trusted colleague for many years. Not only has he been a major intellectual force in the field of psychology and, especially, the study of racism, but he has made extraordinary contributions to the University of Delaware as a teacher, scholar, and innovator. Personally, he has been a rock of support for countless students and colleagues—myself included!
- Dr. Margaret Andersen
- James was a fabulous colleague and mentor when I was at the University of Delaware.
- Eun Rhee
- You are an AMAZING person, thinker, teacher, and researcher. You have the curosioty of a cat, -that leads you to have wide-ranging interests in psychology, culture – science – music – and art. You are an exemplar of the excellence of being human: brilliant, caring, creative, and persistent. Your ideas about race, culture, (TRIOS), discrimination, prejudice, and diversity – push our knowledge in exciting, clarifying directions. Bravo – you are clearly deserving of having your name and bio placed on the Heritage Wall of Fame. CONGRATULATIONS.
- Sam Gaertner
- “Best wishes and warmest regards of this well deserved honor.”
- Leland Ware
- James, Heartiest Congratulations on your illustrious academic career and the outstanding contributions that you have made to the field of Personality and Social Psychology. Your remarkable achievement and investment in cultivating intellectual community in your field is well-deserving of the honor of having your name on the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Heritage Wall of Fame. It is truly gratifying when a really deserving person is recognized and honored.
- Patricia A. DeLeon
- For his support for me and countless other students and colleagues and for his unwavering commitment to racial justice and equality. Because of him, I continue!
- Audrey J. Murrell, PhD.
- I have followed James’ contributions to the field since we began graduate school together in 1970. His outstanding work has provided an innovative lens through which to consider fundamental questions in the field of racism and prejudice that has stood the test of time. His writings were always prominent in my course syllabi, and generated enthusiastic discussions. (I recently retired, which is why I use past tense here!) His longstanding and successful efforts to recruit more minority students into graduate programs has also made a unique and important contribution to the field. I am thrilled to know that he will receive this honor!
- Leslie Zebrowitz
I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor. I am so inspired by the many hats he has successfully and gracefully worn, including scientist, mentor, colleague, administrator, and social justice advocate. His work has had a profound impact on the profession, community, and society. I’m so honored and humbled to have had our paths cross!- Tania Roth
James has contributed so significantly to the University of Delaware and he has taught me a great deal as a colleague. James is extraordinarily well spoken and patient, and his insights have truly made a difference for our university.- Robin Morgan
James contributed in numerous leadership roles at the University of Delaware. I still vividly recall one of my earliest significant encounters with James as I worked diligently to persuade him to step in as chair of our Program in Black American studies (now the department of Africana Studies). He negotiated strong terms for the advancement toward department status, and I was impressed with his intellectual strength and diversity. (Did not know that he was a standout athlete from his younger days!!) I turned to James many times over the course of the next fifteen years. Like many, I was fortunate to get to know Prof. James over the years; he continues to make strong contributions at UD.- Dean Emeritus