About the Author
I was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and, other than brief periods before age 6 in Fort Smith, Arkansas, lived in and received my education in Little Rock until graduation from Central High School in 1957. I completed a B.S. degree in Biology and Literature from M.I.T. in 1961 and a Ph.D. in Psychology in the Department of Social Relations at Harvard in 1966 (degree awarded January 1967). I received an NIMH postdoctoral fellowship to study with Peter Venables at Birkbeck College, University of London for 1966-1968. After two years on the faculty at the University of Oklahoma, I had a faculty position in the Department of Psychology at the University of Iowa from 1970 until I retired in 2008.
Since this website is about political values and since many conservatives dislike East Coast Liberal elites, I want to provide more information about my background. Although I was privileged to receive an East Coast elite education, my socioeconomic background is anything but elite.
My father had only an 11th-grade education and my mother graduated from high school and completed one semester at Little Rock Junior College. My father was a civilian with the military in WWII and was away much of the time during the war. My parents were divorced in April of 1945 when I was six years old. My mother, older sister, and I lived in Little Rock from that time on, and my father lived in Fort Smith. My father was able to pay child support of only $1,200 per year. My mother worked in clerical jobs for about $1.00/hour from1946 through 1951, after which she was fortunate to earn somewhat higher salaries, but never very high. However, my father had a stroke in 1951 and was no longer able to pay child support, which offset my mother’s small increase in income. My father died in September 1954. I was able to attend M.I.T. with support from a National Merit Scholarship, and I attended graduate school with support from scholarships and teaching fellowships.
Thus, I grew up in the Bible Belt South culture and was anything but privileged financially. In that sense, I am not an East Coast Elite.