Michael Inzlicht is a Research Excellence Faculty Scholar at the University of Toronto. His primary appointment is as Professor in the Department of Psychology, but he is also cross-appointed as Professor at the Rotman School of Management. Michael conducts research that sits at the boundaries of social psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience. Although he has published papers on the topics of prejudice, academic performance, and religion, his most recent interests have been in the topics of self-control, where he borrows methods from affective and cognitive neuroscience to understand the underlying nature of self-control, including how it is driven by motivation.
Michael completed his B.Sc. in Anatomical Sciences at McGill University in 1994, his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at Brown University in 2001, and his postdoctoral fellowship in Applied Psychology at New York University in 2004. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and edited two books. His work has been featured in media outlets around the world, including The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, BBC News, TIME, The Daily Telegraph, and the CBC, among many others. His research and teaching have been recognized with the Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize, the SPSSI Louise Kidder Early Career Award, the Ontario government's Early Researcher Award, the ISCON Best Social Cognition Paper Award, the Principal's Research Award (University of Toronto Scarborough), and the UofT Scarborough Professor of the Year Award. He is currently an Associate Editor of Psychological Science.
Michael is a first-generation college student.
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In the last decade, behavioral scientists concluded that their field had taken a wrong turn. Efforts to root out false findings and bad practices spurred a crisis now poised to transform the landscape of psychology. Psychology Today profiles four scientists who are leading the charge.
"[Pre-registration] is really gratifying. It's frustrating, too, because you realize how hard science is," Michael Inzlicht says. "There are a lot of null results out there. I've got a lot of bad ideas, it turns out. But because I want the results I publish to lean toward the truth, I'm happy with that."
The Independent covers a new paper from the lab examining empathy's intrinsic costs. Our study suggests that people avoid feeling empathy because they think it requires too much mental effort. Defined as the ability to understand the feelings of another person, empathy can facilitate positive social or helpful behaviours in an individual. However, our research suggests that people often don’t want to feel empathy, even if the feelings it produces are positive.
This is the greatest mystery of my adult life: How can I spend all day typing at a computer and go home feeling exhausted? How could merely activating the small muscles of my fingers leave me craving the couch at the end of the day? This question actually lies very close to one of the more hotly contested issues in psychology: What causes mental fatigue? Why is desk work so depleting? “It is kind of a mystery, to be honest,” says Michael Inzlicht, a University of Toronto psychologist who studies self-control, motivation, and fatigue.
- Joshua Aronson, New York University
- Avi Ben-Zeev, San Francisco State University
- Elliot Berkman, University of Oregon
- Kirk Brown, Virginia Commonwealth University
- Daryl Cameron, Penn State University
- Belle Derks, Utrecht University
- Jennifer Gutsell, Brandeis University
- Greg Hajcak, Florida State University
- Eddie Harmon-Jones, University of New South Wales
- Jacob Hirsh, University of Toronto
- Cendri Hutcherson, University of Toronto
- Sonia Kang, University of Toronto
- Michael Larson, Brigham Young University
- Lisa Legault, Clarkson University
- Ian McGregor, University of Waterloo
- Marina Milyavskaya, Carleton University
- Sukhvinder Obhi, McMaster University
- Liz Page-Gould, University of Toronto
- Travis Proulx, Cardiff University
- Blair Saunders, University of Dundee
- Brandon Schmeichel, Texas A&M University
- Zindel Segal, University of Toronto
- Alexa Tullett, University of Alabama
University of Toronto
- Association for Psychological Science
- Canadian Psychological Association
- Canada Foundation for Innovation
- International Social Cognition Network
- International Society for Research on Emotion
- National Academy of Education
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
- Social and Affective Neuroscience Society
- Social Psychology Network
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
- Society for Personality and Social Psychology
- Society for Psychophysiological Research
- Spencer Foundation