University of Minnesota B.A., Psychology, 1989
Illinois State University M.S., Clinical Psychology, 1991
Michigan State University Ph.D., Social Psychology, 1996

Social Psychology; Introduction to Psychology; Stereotyping & Prejudice; Personality


Research and theory on the origins of loneliness and social isolation. Brain mechanisms, personality traits, and environmental factors that influence loneliness. Cultural differences in loneliness, and how loneliness differentially influences different populations. Interventions and ways to enhance social connections. 

Stereotyping and Prejudice
Ageism; Cognitive processes associated with use of stereotypes in impression formation; role of affect in guiding attitudes about stereotyped others; affective outcomes of using cognitive heuristics in intergroup interaction.

Cognitive Neuroscience
Neural substrates associated with various social behaviors, with special emphasis on working memory, and cognitive inhibition. Neural substrates of inhibition of affective and non-affective concepts. Influence of age on the ability to inhibit influence of unwanted & irrelevant information in working memory tasks (e.g. attitude formation). Use of fMRI to examine social cognitive neuroscience questions.

Impact of affective and cognitive attitude components on attitude change; formation and representation of attitude components in memory; measurement of peripheral cue representation; direct and indirect means of attitude formation and change.

Prosocial Behavior
Egoistic vs. altruistic motives for prosocial behavior; evidence for a unitary or multifaceted ultimate goal in prosocial behavior; cognitive and affective processes in empathy-motivated helping behavior; effects of implicit attitudes on prosocial behavior.

Organization of goal-directed behavior; action maintenance; cognitive arousal in discrepancies between real-ideal behavioral states; effects of affective states on goal-pursuit and disengagement; cognitive self-efficacy appraisal processes at decisional junctures in goal-directed behavior.

Nelson, T. D. (Ed.) (in preparation). Advances in Prejudice Research. Routledge. 

Nelson, T. D. (Ed.) (in [preparation). Advances in Ageism Research. Springer Nature. 

Nelson, T. D. (in preparation). Our epidemic of loneliness and human disconnection. Academic Press.

Nelson, T. D. (Ed.) (in preparation). The Springer International Handbook of Loneliness. Springer Nature. 

Nelson, T. D. (Ed.) (in preparation). Handbook of Prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination (3rd Ed.). Routledge. 

Nelson, T. D. & Olson, M.  (2024). The Psychology of Prejudice (3rd Ed.). Guilford. 

Nelson, T. D. (2018). Classic and contemporary studies in social psychology. Sage. 

Nelson, T. D. (Ed.) (2018). Getting grounded in social psychology. Psychology Press. 

Nelson, T. D. (Ed.). (2017). Ageism: Stereotyping and prejudice against older persons (2nd Ed.). MIT Press. 

Nelson, T. D. (Ed.)(2015). The Handbook of Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination (2nd Ed.). Psychology Press.

Nelson, T. D. (Ed.)(2009). The Handbook of Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination. Psychology Press.

Nelson, T. D. (2006). The Psychology of Prejudice (2nd ed.), Allyn & Bacon.

Nelson, T. D. (Ed.) (2002). Ageism: Stereotypes and prejudice against older persons, MIT Press.

Nelson, T. D. (2002). The Psychology of Prejudice, Allyn & Bacon.

Nelson, T. D. (2019). Reducing ageism: Which interventions work? American Journal of Public Health, 109 (8), 1066-1067. 

Nelson, T. D. (2016). Promoting healthy aging by confronting ageism. American Psychologist, 71 (4), 276-282. 

Nelson, T. D. (2016). The age of ageism. Journal of Social Issues, 72(1), 191-198.  

Nelson, T. D. (2012). The neurobiology of stereotyping and prejudice. In D. Franks & J. Turner (Eds.), Handbook of neurosociology. Springer.

Nelson, T. D. (2011). Ageism. In R Weiner (Ed.), Discrimination and disability. Sage.

Nelson, T. D. (2009). Ageism. In J. Levine & M. Hogg (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. Sage.

Nelson, T. D. (2009). The young science of ageism research: Established answers and open questions in prejudice against older persons. In E. Borgida & S. Fiske (Eds.), Psychological science in court: Beyond common knowledge. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

Nelson, T. D. (2007). Ageism and discrimination. In J. Birren (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Gerontology (2nd Ed., pp. 57-64). Elsevier.

Nelson, T. D. (2005). Ageism: Prejudice against our feared future selves. Journal of Social Issues, 61 (2), 207-221. 

Nelson, T. D. (2000). Cognitive consistency theories. In E. F. Borgatta & R. J. V. Montgomery (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Sociology (2nd Ed., pp. 334-342). New York: Macmillan.

Nelson, T. D. (1998). A Stimulus-Response Social Psychology? American Psychologist, 53 (9),1078.

Nelson, T. D. (1997). Mood regulation prior to social interaction: Mood Maintenance versus Neutralization. Journal of Social Psychology, 137 (4), 535-537.

Nelson, T. D. (1995). The control of consciousness via a neuropsychological feedback loop. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 18 (4), 690-691.

Nelson, T. D. (1993). The hierarchical organization of behavior: A useful feedback model of self-regulation. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2 (4), 121-126.

Nelson, T. D. (2004, August). Experiencing and expressing ageism. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu. 

Nelson, T. D. (2003, November). Experiencing ageism: A survey of 850 older adults. Paper presented at the 56th Annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, San Diego. 

Nelson, T. D. (2001, August). [Chair of symposium for the 109th Annual American Psychological Association Convention]. Ageism: Current theory and research on stereotypes and prejudice against older persons, San Francisco. 

Nelson, T. D. (2001, February). Ageism: The Origin and Perpetuation of Stereotypes and Prejudice Against Older Persons. Paper presented at the first annual conference of the Stan State Gerontology Interest Group, Turlock, CA.

Nelson, T. D. (1997, August). Influence of integral and incidental discomfort on stereotyping and prejudice. Paper presented at the 105th annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Chicago.

Messe, L. A., Bodenhausen, G. V., & Nelson, T. D. (1995, June). Affect-cognition congruence and attitude change: A re-examination. Paper presented at the 7th annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, New York.

Taylor, S., Dovidio, J. F., & Nelson, T. D. (1995, May).Implicit attraction: Influence of unconsciously-formed attitudes on helping. Paper presented at the 67th annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago.

Nelson, T. D. (1993, June). A feedback model of motivation in behavior regulation. Paper presented at the 5th annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, Chicago.

Nelson, T. D., Baumgardner, A. H., & Kiehle, D. (1993, April). Mood regulation before social interaction: Evidence for affect distancing. Paper presented at the 65th annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago.

Nelson, T. D., Catanzaro, S. J., & Pryor, J. B. (1992, May). The adaptive impact of enhanced self-focus on minimal goal setting. Paper presented at the 64th annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago.

Nelson, T. D., & Fleming, J. H. (1990, June). Ability to choose questions toward an expectancy affects the expectancy confirmation process. Paper presented at the 2nd annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, Dallas.

Fellow, Society for Experimental Social Psychology

Gemperle Foundation Distinguished Professor, 2001-2004. 3-year Grant for research program: "(Dis)respecting Your Elders: Investigating the Economic, Political, Medical, and Psychological Impact of Ageism.

Elected to Phi Kappa Phi, 2001.