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Catherine A. Sanderson Ph.D.


Catherine A. Sanderson, Ph.D., is the Manwell Family Professor of Life Sciences (Psychology) at Amherst College. She received a bachelor's degree in psychology, with a specialization in Health and Development, from Stanford University, and received both masters and doctoral degrees in psychology from Princeton University. Her research has received grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health. Sanderson has published over 25 journal articles and book chapters in addition to four college textbooks, middle school and high school health textbooks, and trade books on parenting and on how mindset influences happiness, health, and even how long we live (The Positive Shift). Her latest book, Why We Act: Turning Bystanders Into Moral Rebels, examines why good people so often stay silent or do nothing in the face of wrongdoing. In 2012, she was named one of the country's top 300 professors by the Princeton Review.

Sanderson speaks regularly before public and corporate audiences on topics such as the science of happiness, the power of emotional intelligence, the mind-body connection, and the psychology of good and evil. These talks have been featured in outlets including The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, CNN, and CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley. Her TEDx talk on the Psychology of Inaction describes the factors that contribute to inaction and provides strategies we all can use to help people act, even when those around them do not.

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