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CATHERINE A. SANDERSON IS THE POLER FAMILY PROFESSOR AND CHAIR OF 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. Professor Sanderson has published over 25 journal articles and book chapters in addition to four college textbooks, middle school and high school health textbooks, as well as the Introduction to Psychology course for The Great Courses. In 2012, she was named one of the country's top 300 professors by the Princeton Review.
Professor Sanderson has written trade books on parenting as well as how mindset influences happiness, health, and even how long we live (The Positive Shift). Her latest trade book, published in North America as Why We Act: Turning Bystanders Into Moral Rebels (Harvard University Press) and internationally as The Bystander Effect: The Psychology of Courage and Inaction (HarperCollins), examines why good people so often stay silent or do nothing in the face of wrongdoing. For a preview of the topics addressed in this book, watch Catherine’s TEDx talk on the Psychology of Inaction, which describes the factors that contribute to inaction and provides strategies we all can use to help people act, even when those around them are not.
Professor Sanderson speaks regularly for public and corporate audiences on topics such as the science of happiness, the power of emotional intelligence, the art of aging well, and the psychology of courage and inaction. These talks have been featured in numerous mainstream media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, USA Today, The Atlantic, CNN, and CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley. She also writes a weekly blog for Psychology Today - Norms Matter - that examines the power of social influence on virtually all aspects of our lives.
Catherine lives with her husband, Bart Hollander, and three children - Andrew, Robert, and Caroline - in Hadley, Massachusetts.