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John A. Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest

G9

Washington, DC 20004

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In the past few years a new way of changing people's behavior has been discovered: Helping them to revise the stories they tell about themselves and their social environment. I will describe this "story-editing" technique and give several examples of how it has been used to address a variety of personal and societal problems, such as improving educational outcomes, reducing child abuse, lowering the rate of teenage pregnancies, improving inter-group relations, and increasing environmentally-friendly behaviors.


Timothy D. Wilson is Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. He has published over 100 articles in scholarly journals and edited books, primarily on the topics of self-knowledge, unconscious processing, and the applications of social psychology to addressing social problems. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Russell Sage Foundation. Wilson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009. In 2002 Wilson published Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious (Harvard University Press). The New York Times Magazine listed the book as containing one of the best 100 ideas of 2002. In 2011 he published, Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change (Little, Brown). The author Malcolm Gladwell said, “There are few academics who write with as much grace and wisdom as Timothy Wilson. I thought his last book Strangers to Ourselves was a masterpiece. Redirect is more than its equal."

In 2015 the Association for Psychological Science awarded Wilson the William James Fellow Award, to honor a “lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology.” In 2013 he received the Donald T. Campbell Award from the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, which recognizes “distinguished scholarly achievement and ongoing sustained excellence in research in social psychology.” In 2015 he received the Thomas Jefferson Award for Scholarship from the University of Virginia, the highest honor given to members of the university community.

The Lunch @ DC hosts leaders in their field to foster thinking and discussion with D.C. government leaders and the community on a wide range of topics related to evidence and experimentation in government. It’s a time to listen, discuss, and socialize!

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John A. Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest

G9

Washington, DC 20004

View Map

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