Daryl J. Bem, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Cornell University, obtained his BA degree in physics from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, in 1960, and began graduate work in physics at MIT. The civil rights movement had just begun, and he became so intrigued with the changing attitudes toward desegregation in the American South that he decided to switch fields and pursue a career as a social psychologist specializing in attitudes and public opinion. He obtained his PhD degree in social psychology from the University of Michigan in 1964, and has since taught at Carnegie-Mellon University, Stanford, Harvard, and Cornell University, where he has been since 1978. He retired from Cornell on June 30, 2007.
Professor Bem has published on several diverse topics in psychology, including psi (ESP), attitudes and public opinion, group decision making, self-perception, personality theory, and sexual orientation. He is coauthor of an introductory textbook in psychology and the author of Beliefs, Attitudes, and Human Affairs (1970).