Scott O. Lilienfeld


"But Professor, Is Psychology Really a Science?":
Addressing Student and Public Skepticism about the Scientific Status of Psychology

Scott O. Lilienfeld, Emory University

Brief Biographical Summary

Scott O. Lilienfeld is Professor of Psychology at Emory University in Atlanta, where he has been on the faculty since 1994. He received his A.B. 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 Clinics in Pittsburgh from 1986 to 1987. Dr. Lilienfeld was Assistant Professor of Psychology at SUNY Albany (New York) from 1990 to 1994, when he joined the psychology faculty at Emory.

Dr. Lilienfeld is founder and editor of the journal, Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice and is past (2001-2002) President of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, which is Section III within Division 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA). He also served as the Division 12 Program Chair for the 2001 APA Convention. He has been a member of nine journal editorial boards, including the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Psychological Assessment, Perspectives on Psychological Science, and Clinical Psychology Review, and he has served as an external reviewer for over 50 journals and multiple grant proposals. Dr. Lilienfeld has published over 200 articles, book chapters, and books in his principal areas of research interest, which are personality disorders (particularly psychopathic personality), personality assessment, anxiety disorders, psychiatric classification and diagnosis, pseudoscience in psychology, and evidence-based practices in clinical psychology. Among his books are Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding (Allyn & Bacon, 2008; co-authored by Steven Jay Lynn, Laura Namy, and Nancy Woolf), Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology (Guilford, 2003; co-edited with Steven Jay Lynn and Jeffrey M. Lohr) and Navigating the Mindfield: Distinguishing Science from Pseudoscience in Mental Health (Prometheus, in press; co-edited by Steven Jay Lynn and John Ruscio).

His work on psychological science and pseudoscience has been featured in the New York Times (twice in feature articles in the Science Times), Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Boston Globe, Washington Post, USA Today, the New Yorker, and Scientific American. In addition, he has appeared on ABC’s 20/20, CNN, the CBS Evening News, National Public Radio, Canadian Public Radio, and numerous other radio programs. He is also a regular columnist (along with Dr. Hal Arkowitz) for Scientific American Mind magazine.

In 1998, Dr. Lilienfeld received the David Shakow Award for Outstanding Early Career Contributions to Clinical Psychology from APA Division 12, and in 2007 he was elected as a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. In 2008, he was named as one of the 40 most productive researchers across all U.S. clinical psychology doctorate programs. Dr. Lilienfeld has been an invited speaker at numerous international conferences and over 25 universities and colleges, and was selected as a member of Emory University’s “Great Teachers” lecturer series. He is a member of the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, and Division 1 (General Psychology) of the American Psychological Association.