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Watch: Colleagues, Students Honor Psychologist Barry Schwartz

Philadelphia Inquirer: Swarthmore colleagues, students choose to honor an expert on choices

Having more choices can actually be a bad thing, says the research that changed psychologist Barry Schwartz's life, earning his TED Talk millions of views and turning him into someone "people all over the world . . . associate with a single important idea."

And coincidentally, Schwartz, who is preparing to retire from Swarthmore College, has made an illustrious career by sticking to just a few good choices.

He's been a professor at Swarthmore for 45 years - the only job he ever applied for, he said. He met his wife in seventh grade; they married their junior year of college. The couple never left the Philadelphia area after finishing graduate programs here in the early 1970s.

At 69, Schwartz has shaped nearly half a century of students and cemented his influential place in the field of psychology. He is retiring to spend time with his grandchildren, but otherwise would not have wanted to leave Swarthmore, a school that molded his career, he said.

"I'll be forever indebted to my colleagues," he said in an interview Friday. "I basically started my education when I got here."

His colleagues and students, in turn, feel indebted to him. On Saturday, they held an all-day symposium in Schwartz's honor on the Swarthmore campus.

More than a dozen people gave lectures about psychology and working with Schwartz, speaking with a warmth and gratitude that was a testament to his grand career.

"Barry has been a force in my life," said John Monterosso, who teaches psychology at the University of Southern California and took Schwartz's Introduction to Psychology class as a freshman in 1988. He has "really shown me a way that life can be fun and productive."

Read the full article. Listen to an interview with Schwartz on work and motivation at WHYY's RadioTimes

Why We Work With Barry Schwartz - Faculty Remarks

Professor of Psychology Andrew Ward, Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology Jane Gillham (1:09), Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Richard Schuldenfrei (1:49), William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Political Science Kenneth Sharpe (2:31), and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Hugh Lacey (3:07) share their ​​thoughts and memories in honor of Dorwin P. Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action Barry Schwartz.

Why We Work With Barry Schwartz - Colleague Remarks

Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania Martin E. P. Seligman, Professor of Psychology at University of California-Riverside Sonja Lyubomirsky (1:34), Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University Hazel Markus (2:39), Professor of Organizational Behavior at Yale University Amy Wrzesniewski (3:30), Class of 1965 Wharton Professor of Management and Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania Adam Grant (4:12), and Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and Professor of Public Affairs Emeritus, at Princeton University Daniel Kahneman​ (5:35) discuss Barry Schwartz's impact and influence.

President Valerie Smith

President Valerie Smith offers welcoming remarks to the more than 300 people who came out to honor Dorwin P. Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action Barry Schwartz.

Jane Gillham

Associate Professor of and Chair of Psychology Jane Gillham provides introductions for the featured speakers who have collaborated with Schwartz throughout his career. 

Martin E.P Seligman

Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania Martin E.P. Seligman gives his talk, "Big Data, Barry, and the Dorsal Raphe Nucleus."

Daniel Reisberg '75

Patricia & Clifford Lunneborg Professor of Psychology at Reed College Daniel Reisberg ’75 delivers a lecture, "Pigeons in a Welfare State: The Origins of My Applied Work."

 

Amy Wrzesniewski

Yale University Professor of Organizational Behavior Amy Wrzesniewski speaks on "Why Meaning Matters."

Joe Moterosso '92

Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Southern California John Monterosso ’92 delivers his lecture, "Still Stuck with Freedom and Dignity."

 

Roseanna Sommers '10

Roseanna Sommers ’10, a J.D. candidate in law and Ph.D. candidate in Psychology at Yale University, discusses consent in her lecture "No Means No. But When Does Yes Mean Yes? Exploring Public Attitudes Toward Consent."

 

Sonja Lyubomirsky

Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at the University of California-Riverside, talks about "The Paradox of Schwartz."

Richard Schuldenfrei

Swarthmore College Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Richard Schuldenfrei delivers his talk, "A Psychologist Works with a Philosopher."

 

Hazel Markus

Stanford University Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences Hazel Markus talks on "Human Natures."

 

Adam Grant

University of Pennsylvania Class of 1965 Wharton Professor of Management and Professor of Psychology Adam Grant gives his remarks.

Kenneth Sharpe

William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Political Science Kenneth Sharpe delivers his lecture, "For Four Decades Plus."

 

Andrew Ward

Professor of Psychology Andrew Ward talks about "The Keys to a Happy Life."

Barry Schwartz

Dorwin P. Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action Barry Schwartz closes the symposium in his honor with a talk, "Opportunity, Good Fortune, and Happiness."

Barry Schwartz and students

Schwartz talks with his audience during the closing reception.

President Valerie Smith offers welcoming remarks to the more than 300 people who came out to honor Dorwin P. Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action Barry Schwartz.

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Why We Work With Barry Schwartz - Alumni Remarks

Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Southern California John Monterosso ’92, J.D. Candidate in Law and Ph.D. Candidate in Psychology at Yale University Roseanna Sommers ’10 (1:20), and Patricia & Clifford Lunneborg Professor of Psychology at Reed College Daniel Reisberg ’75 (2:12) discuss Barry Schwartz's impact and influence.

Why We Work With Barry Schwartz - Opening Remarks from President Valerie Smith

President Valerie Smith offers welcoming remarks to the more than 300 people who came to honor Dorwin P. Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action Barry Schwartz.

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