Thomas Blass, Ph.D.
Degree: Ph.D. , Yeshiva University, January 1969
Area: Social Psychology
Office: MP 334 x (410) 455 2428
Fax: (410) 455-1055
Tactics of social influence; attributional processes; the interaction
of personality and situational factors in social behavior; scale
development of personality, attitudinal, and other self-report measures
relevant to social behavior; psychological perspectives on the Holocaust.
Most recently my research interests have centered on the life
and work of Stanley Milgram. This focus has three components: An
experimental one, based on an attributional paradigm I developed
using edited versions of the documentary film Obedience; analytic
and integrative, in the form of review articles of research based
on Milgram's work; and biographical/historical.
Selected Publications and Papers
Blass, T. (2004). The man who shocked the world: The life and
legacy of Stanley Milgram. (Basic Books)
Blass, T. (Ed.), (2000). Obedience to authority: Current perspectives
on the Milgram paradigm. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Blass, T. (1977). (Ed.) Personality variables in social behavior.
Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. (Distributed by John
Wiley & Sons.)
Blass, T. (1976). (Ed.) Contemporary social psychology: Representative
readings. Itasca, Ill.: F. E. Peacock Publishers.
Blass, T. (2002). Perpetrator behavior as destructive obedience:
An evaluation of Stanley Milgram's perspective, the most influential
social-psychological approach to the Holocaust. In L. Newman &
R. Erber (Eds.). Understanding genocide: The social psychology of
the Holocaust: . Oxford University Press (Invited chapter).
Blass, T. (2001). Social psychological perspectives on obedience.
International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences
Blass, T. (2000). Stanley Milgram (1933-1984). Encyclopedia
of Psychology. American Psychological Association. (Invited article)
Blass, T. (1999). Stanley Milgram. In J. A. Garraty (Ed.), American
National Biography. Cary, NC: Oxford University Press and American
Council of Learned Societies. (Invited article)
Blass, T. (1996). Stanley Milgram: A life of inventiveness and
controversy. In G. Kimble, A. Boneau, & M. Wertheimer (Eds.),
Portraits of pioneers in psychology, Vol. 2. Washington, D.C., and
Hillsdale, NJ: American Psychological Association and Lawrence Erlbaum
Associates. (Invited chapter)
Blass, T. (1992). The social psychology of Stanley Milgram.
In M. P. Zanna (Ed.) Advances in experimental social psychology,
Vol. 25, (pp. 277-329). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Blass, T. (1984). Interactionism. In R. Corsini (Ed.), Encyclopedia
of Psychology (Vol. 2). New York: Wiley.
Blass, T. (2002, March/April). The man who shocked the world.
Psychology Today, pp. 68-74.
Blass, T., & Schmitt, C. (2001). The nature of perceived
authority in the Milgram paradigm: Two replications. Current Psychology,
20, 115-121. (Invited submission)
Blass, T. (2000). Conspiracy theories and the need for cognitive
consistency. Clio's Psyche, 7, 111-112.
Blass, T. (1999). The Milgram paradigm after 35 years: Some
things we now know about obedience to authority. Journal of Applied
Social Psychology, 29, 955-978.
Blass, T. (1998). The roots of Milgram's obedience experiments
and their relevance to the Holocaust. Analyse & Kritik, 20,46-53.
Hahn, J., & Blass, T. (1997). Dating partner preferences:
A function of similarity of love styles. Journal of Social Behavior
and Personality, 12, 595-610.
Blass, T. (1996). The Milgram obedience experiment: Support
for a cognitive view of defensive attribution. Journal of Social
Psychology, 136, 407-410.
Blass, T. (1996). Attribution of responsibility and trust in
the Milgram obedience experiment. Journal of Applied Social Psychology,
Krackow, A., & Blass, T. (1995). When nurses obey or defy
inappropriate physician orders: Attributional differences. Journal
of Social Behavior and Personality, 10, 585-594.
Blass, T. (1995). Right-Wing Authoritarianism and role as predictors
of attributions about obedience to authority. Personality and Individual
Differences, 19, 99-100
Blass, T. (1993). Psychological perspectives on the perpetrators
of the Holocaust: The role of situational pressures, personal dispositions,
and their interactions. Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 7, 30-50.
Blass, T. (1993). The development of social climate measures
from the 1991/1992 Survey of Total Military Personnel (STAMP): Scale
construction and initial validation. (ARI Study Note 93-01) Alexandria,
VA: U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Blass, T. (1991). Understanding behavior in the Milgram obedience
experiment: The role of personality, situations, and their interactions.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 398-413. (Reprinted
in: Lesko, W. A. (1994). Readings in social psychology: General,
classic, and contemporary selections, 2nd ed. NY: Allyn & Bacon.)
Blass, T., & Kaplowitz, H. (1990). A longitudinal study
of the actor observer attributional effect. Personality and Individual
Differences, 11, 259-264.
Blass, T. (1984). Social psychology and personality: Toward
a convergence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47,
Blass, T. (1982). The tenacity of impressions and Jacob's rebuke
of Simeon and Levi. Journal of Psychology and Judaism, 7, 55 61.
Blass, T., Leichtman, S. R., & Brown, R. A. (1981). The
effect of perceived consensus and implied threat upon responses
to mail surveys. Journal of Social Psychology, 113, 213 216.
Blass, T. (1980). What do positive correlations between student
grades and teacher evaluations mean? Teaching of Psychology, 7,
Pole, J., Berenson, N., Sass, D., Young, D., & Blass, T.
(1974). Walking under a ladder: A field experiment on superstitious
behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1, 10 12.
Blass, T. (1974). Measurement of objectivity subjectivity: Effects
of tolerance for imbalance and grades on evaluations of teachers.
Psychological Reports, 34, 1199 1213. (This work was also described
in Behavior Today, January, 1975, and in Psychology Today, May,
1975. The Blass Objectivity Subjectivity Scale was also listed in
the ETS Test Collection Bulletin, April, 1975.)
Freedman, N., Blass, T., Rifkin, A., & Quitkin, F. (1973).
Body movements and the verbal encoding of aggressive affect. Journal
of Personality and Social Psychology, 26, 72 85. (Reprinted in:
L. A. Gottschalk (Ed.), The content analysis of verbal behavior:
Further studies. New York: Spectrum, 1979.)
Blass, T., Lynch, L. & Sim, T. (2003). Getting more by asking
for less: Coining a new use for a monetary influence technique.
Presented at the annual convention of the Eastern Psychological
Association, Baltimore, MD, April.
Blass, T. & Johnson, M. (2001, April 20) Self-disclosure
as obedience to authority: A Japanese-American comparison. Presented
at the annual convention of the Eastern Psychological Association,
Blass, T. (2001, February 2) Impersonal authority: Does the
judged quality of a written work improve when it becomes a book?
Presented at the annual convention of the Society for Personality
and Social Psychology, San Antonio, TX.
Dimmig, H., & Blass, T. (2000, March 24). Is there a middle-child
syndrome? An empirical inquiry. Paper presented at the annual convention
of the Eastern Psychological Association, Baltimore, MD.
Blass, T. & Moeller, D. (1999, August 22). Danish and American
norms: Comparisons regarding self-disclosure, verbal affection and
self-promotion. Paper presented at the annual convention of the
American Psychological Association, Boston, MA.
Schmitt, C. & Blass, T. (1999, April 16) Scared smart: Using
a videotaped fear appeal to improve academic performance. Paper
presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association,
Blass, T. (1998, August). Cross-cultural comparisons of obedience
using the Milgram paradigm. Paper presented at the annual convention
of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.
Blass, T., & Schmitt, C. (1998, February 27). Testing the
effects of a unique anti-smoking film: Hugh McCabe's final lesson.
Paper presented at the annual convention of the Eastern Psychological
Association, Boston, MA.
Blass, T., Schmitt, C., Jones, E., & O'Connell, M. (1997,
August 16). The own-birthday effect: From Japan to the United States.
Paper presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological
Association, Chicago, IL.
Blass, T. (1997, August 15). Stanley Milgram and research ethics:
A life-long encounter. Paper presented at the annual convention
of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
Schmitt, C., Blass, T., Musser, P., Bradley, M., & O'Connell,
M. (1996, August 13). Is head tilt a form of gender display? Paper
presented at the 104th annual convention of the American Psychological
Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Blass, T. (1991, April 14). Teaching a course on the social
psychology of Stanley Milgram. Paper presented at the annual meeting
of the Eastern Psychological Association, New York, NY.
Awards and Honors
G. Stanley Hall Invited Address, Annual Convention of the American
Psychological Association, 2001.
Winner of the J. R. Kantor Fellowship Award, Archives of the
History of American Psychology, 1998-1999.
Keynote Speaker, Inaugural Alumni Day, Ferkauf Graduate School
of Psychology, Yeshiva University, May, 2002.
Invited address, Stanley Milgram: Pioneer of psychology, presented
at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association,
Toronto, Canada, August 20, 1993.
Summer Faculty Research Associate, U.S. Army Research Institute
for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Alexandria, VA, 1992, 1993.
Current and Recent Student Mentees
Psych 340: Social Psychology
Psych 332: Research Design and Analysis II
Psych 645: Social Psychology (Graduate)
Psych 656: Applied Social Psychology (Graduate)