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Phillip Shaver


  • Ph.D., Social Psychology, University of Michigan, 1970
  • B.A., Psychology, Wesleyan University, 1966


Phillip Shaver is a distinguished professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and director of the Adult Attachment Lab. He retired at the end of 2014 but is still available for consultation. Professor Shaver has published over 300 books and articles and has served as Executive Officer of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology and President of the International Association for Relationship Research. He is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association (Fellow, Divisions 8 and 9), the Association for Psychological Science (Founding Fellow), the Western Psychological Association (Fellow), the Association for Research in Personality, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, the International Society for Justice Research, and the International Society for Research on Emotions. He is past editor of the Review of Personality and Social Psychology and is a member of the editorial boards of Attachment and Human DevelopmentEmotionJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personal Relationships, and Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

Research Focus

Professor Shaver conducts research in two areas: social relationships and emotions. In the close relationships area, he has studied the application of Bowlby and Ainsworth's attachment theory to research on romantic love and couple communication, relationship loss and grieving, attachment-related mental processes, and applications of attachment theory to the study of religion, leadership, and behavior in organizations. In the field of emotions, he has used a prototype methodology to map individuals' and cultures' cognitive representations of the emotion domain and, with the help of students from other countries, is investigating everyday conceptions of emotions such as love and shame in various cultures. 

Selected Publications

  • Cassidy, J., & Shaver, P. R. (Eds.). (2008). Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications (2nd edition). New York: Guilford Press.
  • Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (Eds.). (2009). Prosocial motives, emotions, and behavior: The better angels of our nature. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Shaver, P. R., & Mikulincer, M. (Eds.). (2011). Human aggression and violence: Causes, manifestations, and consequences. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (Eds.). (2012). The social psychology of morality: Exploring the causes of good and evil. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Shaver, P. R., & Mikulincer, M. (Eds.). (2012). Meaning, mortality, and choice: The social psychology of existential concerns. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 


Professor Shaver taught in the areas of Developmental Psychology and Social-Personality Psychology. He has taught course in Psychology of Emotion, Field Work in Psychology and Personality Theories. 


Shaver received a Distinguished Career Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, a Research Influence Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and a Distinguished Career Award and an International Mentoring Award from the International Association for Relationship Research. In 2004, he was invited to address the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. He authored one of the ten most cited articles in the history of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and was recognized several times for most “hits” on prepublication copies of numerous journal articles.