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The University of Alabama

UA Psychology Department to Host Annual Harold Basowitz Memorial Lecture

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama psychology department will host the annual Harold Basowitz Memorial Lecture Friday, March 1, with Dr. Richard E. Petty featured as guest speaker.

The public lecture will be held at 6 p.m. in room 208 of Gordon Palmer Hall on the UA campus. Petty’s lecture is titled “Why we care about certainty: The role of confidence in decision making and action.”

Petty is professor and chair of the psychology department at Ohio State University. He received his doctorate in social psychology from Ohio State University in 1977 and began his career that same year as an assistant professor at the University of Missouri.

After a sabbatical at Yale University in 1986, he returned to Ohio State as director of the social psychology doctoral program. He served as chair of the OSU psychology department from 1998 to 2002 and resumed this role in 2008. His work focuses on examining the implications of the Elaboration Likelihood Model of persuasion for understanding prejudice, consumer choices, political and legal decisions and health behaviors.

In 2012, Petty received the Distinguished Service Contribution Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and is a fellow in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society of Experimental Social Psychology and the American Psychological Association.

He has also served as a consultant or panelist for various federal agencies such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Science Foundation, and the National Cancer Institute.

The Harold Basowitz Memorial Lecture is sponsored by the UA department of psychology in memory of Basowitz, who came to UA in 1940 and remained until called into military service. Basowitz returned to Tuscaloosa in 1946 and received his undergraduate degree from UA in 1947. He then went on to complete his doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Princeton in 1951.

Basowitz’s distinguished career included administrative roles at the National Institute of Mental Health and professor of psychology for many years at New York University. Basowitz’s lifelong friend, Irving Alexander, professor, is the donor of the Basowitz endowment.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.