MacArthur Fellows Program

Amos Tversky

Cognitive Psychologist | Class of November 1984

Cognitive Psychologist
Stanford, California
47 at time of award
June 2, 1996
Published November 1, 1984

About Amos' Work

Amos Tversky was a cognitive psychologist who studied human judgment and choice.

He investigated, both theoretically and experimentally, the processes by which people make inferences, predictions, and decisions under uncertainty.  His research indicated that intuitive judgment and choice are often based on a limited number of simplistic principles that sometimes work well and sometimes produce systematic biases and “cognitive illusions.”  Tversky analyzed these biases and explored their theoretical and practical implications.  His work influenced many fields beyond psychology, including economics, statistics, law, medicine, and business.


Tversky was the Davis-Brack Professor of Behavioral Science at Stanford University, where he contributed to a number of interdisciplinary programs and co-founded the Stanford Center of Conflict and Negotiation.  Prior to his appointment at Stanford in 1978, he held teaching positions at the University of Michigan, Harvard University, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Tversky received an A.B. (1961) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Ph.D. (1965) from the University of Michigan.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

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