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Henri Tajfel (1919-1982)was a distinguished social psychologist

Biographical informationEdit

He was born of Polish-Jewish parentage, in Wloclawek, Poland on 22 nd June 1919.


He began by studing chemistry at the Sorbonne. He was called up into the French army and, a year later was


Tajfel was professor of Social Psychology at Bristol University from 1967 until his death in 1982

Main areas of interestEdit

Steven Reicher in his biography on the EAESP website makes the intereting point that Tajfel's intersts grew out of his wartime experience. Captured by the Germans in WWI , they never discovered he was a Jew so he was able to survive but the experience shaped his career in three ways:

  1. he developed an abiding interest in prejudice
  2. he recognised that his fate was tied entirely to his group identity
  3. he understood that the Holocaust was not a product of psychology but of the way in which psychological processes operate within a given social and political context

Funded grantsEdit


Editorial board/consulting editorEdit

Association affiliationsEdit

See alsoEdit



  • Tajfel, H. (1981) Human Groups and Social Categories: Studies in Social Psychology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Book ChaptersEdit


  • Tajfel, H. (1969) Cognitive aspects of prejudice, Journal of Social Issues 25(4): 79-97.
  • Tajfel, H., Billig, M.G., Bundy, R.P. and Flament, C. (1971) Social categorisation and intergroup behaviour, European Journal of Social Psychology 1: 148-78.
  • Tajfel, H. and Jahoda, G. (1966) Development in children of concepts and attitudes about their own and other countries: a cross-national study, Proceedings of the XVIII International Congress of Psychology: Moscow Symposium 36: 17-33.
  • Tajfel, H. and Turner, J.C. (1979) An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. In: W.G. Austin and S. WorcheL (eds) The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations, Monterey, Calif.: Brooks/Cole.
  • Tajfel, H. and Wilkes, A.L. (1963) Classification and quantitative judgement, British Journal of Psychology 54: 101-14.

External linksEdit

Biography by Steve Richter

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