Timothy D. Wilson is the Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. He has published numerous scholarly journals and books, primarily on the topic of the limits and sources of self-knowledge. He has conducted research showing the limits of introspection as a source of self-knowledge, the dangers of engaging in too much introspection about why we do what we do, the difficulty in predicting our future emotional reactions, as well as the pleasures we can derive from “just thinking.” He has also conducted research on applications of social psychology to address social problems. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Russell Sage Foundation.
Wilson was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2020. In 2015 the Association for Psychological Science awarded Wilson the William James Fellow Award, to honor a “lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology.” He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009. The University of Virginia awarded him its highest academic honor, the Thomas Jefferson Award for Excellence in Scholarship, as well as an All-University Outstanding Teaching Award.
In 2002 Wilson published Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious (Harvard University Press). The New York Times Magazine listed the book as containing one of the best 100 ideas of 2002. In 2011 he published, Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change (Little, Brown). The author Malcolm Gladwell said, “There are few academics who write with as much grace and wisdom as Timothy Wilson. I thought his last book Strangers to Ourselves was a masterpiece. Redirect is more than its equal."