Dan Wegner studied the role of thought in self-control and in social life. He investigated thought suppression, finding that people become preoccupied with a white bear when they are asked not to think about it, and researched mental control of other kinds as well. He studied transactive memory—how people in groups and relationships remember things cooperatively—and action identification—what people think they're doing. He also explored the experience of conscious will, and focused on mind perception—how people perceive human and nonhuman minds. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and by the National Institute of Mental Health. A 1996-1997 Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, he was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, recipient of the William James Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, and the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology.


  • Michigan State University: B.S. (1970), M.A. (1972), Ph.D (1974)

Positions Held

  • Harvard University: John Lindsley Professor of Psychology in Memory of William James (2011-2013)
  • Harvard University: Professor (2000-2013)
  • University of Virginia: William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Psychology (1999-2000)
  • Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University: Fellow (1996-1997)
  • University of Virginia: Professor and Director of Graduate Program in Social Psychology (1990-1996, 1997-2000)
  • Center for Advanced Study, University of Virginia: Fellow (1990-1991)
  • Trinity University: Chair, Department of Psychology (1988-1989)
  • University of Texas at Austin: Visiting Scholar (1980)
  • Trinity University, San Antonio: Assistant Professor (1974-1979), Associate Professor, (1979-1985), Professor (1985-1990)