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Edward Tory Higgins (born in 1946) is Professor of Psychology at Columbia University and Professor of Management at the Columbia Business School. He is perhaps best known for developing self-discrepancy theory.


Higgins received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia University in 1973. His early working included the study of priming, influencing social judgment through the unconscious activation of social categories. In 1980 he was hired by New York University where he was given the mandate to help build the social/personality psychology department. There he developed one of the leading departments in the study of social cognition of that era. Among his hires at NYU during this time were John Bargh and Shelley Chaiken. In 1989 Higgins returned to Columbia, his alma mater.

Across his career, Professor Higgins has maintained a broad set of research interests, related to social cognition, self and affect, motivation and cognition, and social development.

See alsoEdit


  • 2005 - Society for Experimental Social Psychology Distinguished Scientist Award
  • 2000 - American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions
  • 2000 - American Psychological Society William James Fellow Award for Distinguished Achievements in Psychological Science
  • 1999 - Thomas M. Ostrom Award for Social Cognition
  • 1996 - Society for Personality and Social Psychology Donald T. Campbell Award

Recent and/or notable publicationsEdit


  • Higgins, E. T., & Kruglanski, A. W. (Eds.). (2000). Motivational science: Social and personality perspectives. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press.
  • Higgins, E. T., & Kruglanski, A. W. (Eds.). (1996). Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Kruglanski, A. W., & Higgins, E .T. (Eds.). (2003). Social psychology: A general reader. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press.
  • Sorrentino, R. M., & Higgins, E. T. (Eds.). (1996). Handbook of motivation and cognition: The interpersonal context. New York: Guilford.

Journal ArticlesEdit

  • Echterhoff, G., Higgins, E. T., Kopietz, R., & Groll, S. (2008). How communication goals determine when audience tuning biases memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General[1], 137(1), 3-21.
  • Echterhoff, G., Higgins, E. T., & Groll, S. (2005). Audience-tuning effects on memory: The role of shared reality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 257-276.
  • Forster, J., & Higgins, E. T. (2005). How global versus local perception fits regulatory focus. Psychological Science, 16, 631-636.
  • Forster, J., Liberman, N., & Higgins, E. T. (2005). Accessibility from active and fulfilled goals. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 41, 220-239.
  • Freitas, A. L., Azizian, A., Travers, S., & Berry, S. A. (2005). The evaluative connotation of processing fluency: Inherenty positive or moderated by motivational context? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 41, 636-644.
  • Hardin, C. D., & Higgins, E. T. (1996). Shared reality: How social verification makes the subjective objective. In E. T. Higgins & R. M. Sorrentino (Eds.), Handbook of motivation and cogntion: The interpersonal context (Vol. III). New York: Guilford Press.
  • Higgins, E. T., Echterhoff, G., Crespillo, R. & Kopietz, R. (2007). Effects of communication on social knowledge: Sharing reality with individual vs. group audiences. Japanese Psychological Research, 49, 89-99.
  • Higgins, E. T. (2006). Value from hedonic experience and engagement. Psychological Review.
  • Higgins, E. T. (2005). Value from regulatory fit. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14 209-213.
  • Higgins, E. T. (2000). Making a good decision: Value from fit. American Psychologist, 55, 1217-1230.
  • Higgins, E. T. (2000). Social cognition: Learning about what matters in the social world. European Journal of Social Psychology, 30, 3-39.
  • Higgins, E. T. (1997). Beyond pleasure and pain. American Psychologist, 52, 1280-1300.
  • Higgins, E. T. (1987). Self-discrepancy: A theory relating self and affect. Psychological Review, 94, 319-340.
  • Higgins, E. T., Bargh, J. A., & Lombardi, W. (1985). The nature of priming effects on categorization. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 11, 59-69.
  • Higgins, E. T., Idson, C. L., Freitas, A. L., Spiegel, S., & Molden, D. C. (2003). Transfer of value from fit. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(6), 1140-1153.
  • Higgins, E.T., King, G. A., & Mavin,G. H. (1982). Individual construct accessibility and subjective impressions and recall. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43, 35-47.
  • Higgins, E.T., Rholes, W.S., & Jones, C.R. (1977). Category Accessibility and Impression Formation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 13, 141-154.
  • Higgins, E. T., Roney, C., Crowe, E., & Hymes, C. (1994). Ideal versus ought predilections for approach and avoidance: Distinct self-regulatory systems. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 276–286.
  • Lombardi, W., Higgins, E. T., & Bargh, J. A. (1987). The role of consciousness in priming effects on categorization. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 13, 411-429.
  • Tykocinski, O., Higgins, T., & Chaiken, S. (1994). How message framing and self discrepancies influence persuasion: The motivational significance of psychological situations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 107-115.

External linksEdit

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