Peter Salovey

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Peter Salovey
23rd President of Yale University
Assumed office
July 1, 2013 (2013-07-01)
Preceded byRick Levin
Personal details
Born (1958-02-21) February 21, 1958 (age 62)
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
Spouse(s)Marta Elisa Moret
ResidenceNew Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Alma materStanford University
Yale University
ProfessionSocial psychologist, academic
WebsiteOffice of the President

Peter Salovey (/ˈsæləv/; born February 21, 1958) is an American social psychologist and current President of Yale University. He previously served as Yale's Provost, Dean of Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Dean of Yale College. Salovey is one of the early pioneers and leading researchers in emotional intelligence.

Early life[edit]

Salovey was born in 1958 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[1] He is the oldest child of Elaine Salovey, who was a registered nurse, and Ronald Salovey, who was a physical chemist and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Southern California.[2][3] His grandparents' families originally came from Poland and Russia, his paternal grandfather came by way of Jerusalem.[4]

His paternal grandfather, Yitzchak Leib was born in Jerusalem in 1895 to a community worker and pharmacist named Zalman Yoseph Soloveitchik (b. 1874). Zalman Yoseph was the son of Simchah (c. 1830-1921), a Lithuanian born Jew who emigrated to Jerusalem where he was called "The Londoner" due to the time he spent living in London. Simcha was the son of Eliyahu Soloveitchik, an uncle to the famous scholar Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik.

Salovey spent his early years in northern New Jersey and attended high school at Williamsville North High School in a suburb of Buffalo, New York, before moving to suburban Los Angeles in 1975, when his father was appointed a professor at the University of Southern California.[5] In 1976, he graduated co-valedictorian from Rolling Hills High School in Rolling Hills Estates, California. He attended Stanford University, where he received a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in sociology with departmental honors and university distinction.[6] While at Stanford, he served as a peer counselor with The Bridge Peer Counseling Center, a field about which he later co-authored a seminal textbook.[7]

Academic biography[edit]

After graduating from Stanford, Salovey moved to New Haven, Connecticut, to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology at Yale under the guidance of Judith Rodin. After completing a dissertation entitled "The Effects of Mood and Focus of Attention on Self-Relevant Thoughts and Helping Intention," and an internship at the West Haven Veterans Administration Medical Center, he graduated from Yale in 1986 and joined the Yale Department of Psychology as an assistant professor.[8] He was appointed full professor in 1995 and now has secondary faculty appointments in Yale's School of Management, School of Public Health, the Department of Sociology, and the Institution for Social and Policy Studies. He is currently the Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology.

Salovey's most significant research contributions are in the field of emotional intelligence. With John D. Mayer he significantly expanded the scope of the concept and authored several of the field's seminal papers, arguing that people have widely ranging abilities pertaining to emotional control, reasoning, and perceptivity.[9] Against earlier theories of intelligence that conceived of emotion as rival to reasoning, Salovey and Mayer contended that emotion could motivate productive outcomes when properly directed.[10][11] Subsequently, he has worked to develop models and tests of emotional intelligence, such as the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test. Salovey's second vein of research is in health psychology, where he has applied social psychology principles to investigate the efficacy of health messaging in promoting HIV risk reduction, early cancer detection, and smoking cessation. In all, Salovey has authored or edited thirteen books translated into eleven languages and published more than 350 journal articles and essays.

Outside Yale, Salovey has served on the National Science Foundation's Social Psychology Advisory Panel, the National Institute of Mental Health Behavioral Science Working Group, and the NIMH National Advisory Mental Health Council. Salovey served as President of the Society for General Psychology and Treasurer of the International Society for Research on Emotion. He was the founding editor of the Review of General Psychology and an associate editor of Emotion and Psychological Bulletin.[1][6]

Administrative career[edit]

Having served in various administrative roles within the Department of Psychology for a decade, Salovey was appointed Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in January 2003. The following year he replaced Richard Brodhead as Dean of Yale College. In October 2008, he succeeded Andrew Hamilton as Provost of Yale University.[12] As Provost, Salovey oversaw major budget reductions caused by the 2008 recession, expansion of Yale's West Campus, the formation of Yale–NUS College, reform of tenure policies for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and an overhaul of sexual misconduct grievance procedures.[13][14][15][16][17]

Speculation that Salovey was being considered for the Yale presidency began nearly four years before President Rick Levin's August 2012 retirement announcement.[18] After a nationwide search in which Salovey was widely considered to be the frontrunner, the Yale Corporation announced his selection as Yale's 23rd president in November 2012.[19][20][21] Salovey took office on July 1, 2013.[22]

Salovey is the first Yale president since 1986 to live in the President's House, the formal residence of the university president.[23] After a renovation, Salovey moved into the residence in the fall of 2014.[24]


In recognition of his research contributions, Salovey has received the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, the National Cancer Institute CIS Partner in Research Award, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Excellence Award. He has received two awards for excellence in teaching at Yale, the William Clyde Devane Medal and the Lex Hixon '63 Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences. Other honors include honorary degrees from the University of Pretoria, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Harvard University, McGill University, National Tsing Hua University, University of Haifa, and Vytautas Magnus University, as well as membership in the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[6][8][25]

Personal life[edit]

As a freshman at Stanford, Salovey began listening to bluegrass music and learned to play banjo.[5] In 1990, he founded the Professors of Bluegrass with Kelly Brownell, in which he plays bass. The band has a rotating membership of Yale faculty, students, and residents of New Haven and released its first album, "Pick or Perish," in June 2013.[26][27] He served as a trustee of the International Bluegrass Music Museum and on the advisory board of the Connecticut Folk Festival.[8] He now is a trustee of the IBMA Foundation for bluegrass music.

Salovey is married to Marta Elisa Moret, a 1984 graduate of the Yale School of Public Health, former Deputy Commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Social Services, and the president of Urban Policy Strategies, LLC. She is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Public Health at Southern Connecticut State University[28] They met as students at Yale and married in 1986 in Orange, Connecticut.[1][29]

The Saloveys are descendants of the Soloveitchik rabbinic family.[30] Salovey's brother, Todd, is the associate artistic director of the San Diego Repertory Theatre and on the theater and dance faculty at the University of California, San Diego.[2][31] His sister, Devora Farrell, is President of ThisOrganized in Passaic, New Jersey.

Selected bibliography[edit]


  • D'Andrea, V. J., & Salovey, P. (1983). Peer counseling: Skills and perspectives. Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books.
  • Rubin, Z., Peplau, L.A., & Salovey, P. (1993). Psychology. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Co.
  • Singer, J.A., & Salovey, P. (1993). The remembered self: Emotion and memory in personality. New York: Free Press.
  • Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D.R. (2002). Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT): User’s manual. Toronto, Ontario: Multi-Health Systems, Inc.
  • Caruso, D. R., & Salovey, P. (2004). The emotionally intelligent manager. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Edited volumes[edit]

  • Reasoning, inference, and judgment in clinical psychology. (1988). eds. Turk, D. C., & Salovey, P. New York: Free Press.
  • The psychology of jealousy and envy. (1991). ed. Salovey, P. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Peer counseling: Skills, ethics, and perspectives. (1996). eds. D'Andrea, V.J., & Salovey, P. Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books.
  • Emotional development and emotional intelligence: Implications for educators. (1997). eds. Salovey, P., & Sluyter, D. New York: Basic Books.
  • At play in the fields of consciousness: Essays in honor of Jerome L. Singer. (1999). eds. Singer, J.A., & Salovey, P. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • The wisdom in feeling: Psychological processes in emotional intelligence. (2002). eds. Feldman-Barrett, L., & Salovey, P. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Key readings in the social psychology of health. (2003). eds. Salovey, P., & Rothman, A.J. Philadelphia: Psychology Press.
  • Emotional intelligence: Key readings on the Mayer and Salovey model. (2004). eds. Salovey, P., Brackett, M.A., & Mayer, J.D. Port Chester, NY: Dude Press.


  • Rodin, J., & Salovey, P. (1989). Health psychology. Annual Review of Psychology, 40, 533-579
  • Salovey, P., & Mayer, J. D. (1990). Emotional intelligence. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 9(3), 185–211.
  • Mayer, J. D., & Salovey, P. (1993). The intelligence of emotional intelligence. Intelligence, 17(4), 433–442.
  • Mayer, J. D., & Salovey, P. (1995). Emotional intelligence and the construction and regulation of feelings. Applied and Preventive Psychology, 4(3), 197–208.
  • Rothman, A. J., & Salovey, P. (1997). Shaping perceptions to motivate healthy behavior: the role of message framing. Psychological Bulletin, 121(1), 3.
  • Mayer, J. D., Caruso, D. R., & Salovey, P. (1999). Emotional intelligence meets traditional standards for an intelligence. Intelligence, 27(4), 267–298.
  • Salovey, P., Rothman, A. J., Detweiler, J. B., & Steward, W. T. (2000). Emotional states and physical health. American Psychologist, 55(1), 110.
  • Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., Caruso, D. R., & Sitarenios, G. (2001). Emotional intelligence as a standard intelligence. Emotion, 1, 232–242.
  • Lopes, P. N., Salovey, P., & Straus, R. (2003). Emotional intelligence, personality, and the perceived quality of social relationships. Personality and Individual Differences, 35(3), 641–658.
  • Grewal, D. D., & Salovey, P. (2005). Feeling smart: The science of emotional intelligence. American Scientist, 93, 330–339.


  1. ^ a b c Andrea Kovacs Henderson, ed. (2013). American Men & Women of Science: A Biographical Directory of Today's Leaders in Physical, Biological, and Related Sciences (31st ed.). Detroit: Gale. p. 538. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b Kuznia, Rob (19 November 2012). "Rolling Hills High grad Peter Salovey named president-elect of Yale". The Daily Breeze. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Ronald Salovey". USC. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  4. ^ Peter Salovey (August 24, 2013). "Yale and the American Dream". Yale University. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Arguelles, Johnny J. (11 August 2010). "Peter Salovey". The Official Web Site of the California Bluegrass Association. California Bluegrass Association. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  6. ^ a b c "Peter Salovey, University Leadership". Yale University. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  7. ^ Phillips, Alice (8 November 2012). "Yale names Stanford alum as University President". Stanford Daily. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  8. ^ a b c Salovey, Peter (July 2013). "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Yale University. Retrieved 14 July 2013.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Although Salovey and Mayer are frequently credited with the term's origination, they attribute it to earlier researchers such as Wayne Payne.
  10. ^ Salovey, Peter; Mayer, John D. (1 January 1989). "Emotional Intelligence". Imagination, Cognition and Personality. 9 (3): 185–211. doi:10.2190/DUGG-P24E-52WK-6CDG.
  11. ^ Chamberlin, Jamie (January 2013). "Psychologist Peter Salovey named Yale's next President". Monitor on Psychology. 44 (1). American Psychological Association. p. 11.
  12. ^ Stanley, Oliver (27 August 2008). "Yale Names Peter Salovey Provost, Succeeding Hamilton". Bloomberg. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  13. ^ Zorthian, Julia (19 April 2013). "Salovey inherits a stable Yale". The Yale Daily News. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  14. ^ Aleksandra Gjorgievska; Julia Zorthian (26 March 2013). "With Salovey, little change for Yale-NUS expected". The Yale Daily News. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  15. ^ "The report of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Tenure and Appointments Policy Committee" (PDF). Yale University. 5 February 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  16. ^ Balakrishna, Kanya (5 April 2007). "Tenure changes accepted". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  17. ^ David Burt; Jordie Gassó (7 April 2011). "Yale acts on sexual grievance overhaul". The Yale Daily News. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  18. ^ Kaplan, Thomas (3 September 2008). "Salovey: Yale's next president?". The Yale Daily News. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  19. ^ Gideon, Gavan (31 August 2012). "Speculation about successor begins". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  20. ^ Alden Branch, Mark (November 2012). "Exit Levin, Smiling". Yale Alumni Magazine. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  21. ^ Zorthian, Julia (9 November 2012). "Presidential search ends abruptly". The Yale Daily News. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  22. ^ "Yale welcomes new president". Yale University Office of Public Affairs and Communications. 1 July 2013.
  23. ^ Zorthian, Julia (25 April 2013). "Salovey to reside in president's house". Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for Peter Salovey by National Tsing Hua University, TAIWAN, 2014". Archived from the original on 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
  26. ^ Zuckerman, Esther (16 September 2008). "Salovey raises the roof with 'Professors'". The Yale Daily News. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  27. ^ Bass, Paul (12 July 2013). "Salovey keeps the beat". New Haven Independent. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  28. ^ "Yale provost Peter Salovey to be the University's next president". Yale News. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  29. ^ Connecticut, Marriage Index, 1959-2001
  30. ^ Singer, Ahron (27 November 2012). "Salovey's rabbinic legacy". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  31. ^ "UCSD Theatre & Dance: Faculty: Todd Salovey". University of California San Diego. 2007. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2013.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Rick Levin
President of Yale University