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According to Greenwald’s biographical page from the University of Washington, in 1959 he received a B.A. from Yale University. In 1961, he received a M.A. from Harvard University, and in 1963, he completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University as well. After that, he completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship that lasted from 1963-1965 at the Educational Testing Service.
Greenwald started teaching in 1965 as an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at Ohio State University until 1986. At the same time, he was an Associate Editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, from 1972 to 1976, before becoming the editor in 1977. From 2001 to 2005, Greenwald was Associate Editor of Experimental Psychology.
Greenwald has been recognized via a variety of significant awards: the Donald T. Campbell Award, Society for Personality and Social Psychology in 1994; Research Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health from 1998 to 2004; Thomas M. Ostrom Award, Person Memory Interest Group in 2001; and recently Greenwald received the Distinguished Scientist Award, Society of Experimental Social Psychology in 2006. This does not include the books he has co-authored, articles that he has published, or the numerous students that he has supervised, both Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellowships.
According to Social Psychology, written by Saul Kassin, Steven Fein and Hazel Rose Markus; Anthony Greenwald, Mahzarin Banaji, Brian Nosek and others have done extensive research on cognition and have collaborated to create the Implicit Association Test (2008, p. 163). This test measures the extent to which an individual will associate two individual concepts. This test has been very successful in determining implicit racism. Between October 1998 and October 2006, more than 4.5 million IAT tests were completed on the IAT website (2008, p. 163).
This test explains, “All sorts of implicit attitudes that we cannot self-report in questionnaires because we are not aware of having them” (2008, p. 184). However, Greenwald has made great strides to improve his research. Even as other questions his own findings, he questions them himself. In one of his articles, Understanding and Using the Implicit Association Test: II. Method Variable and Construction Validity, he mentions that by questioning a number of things, including how to maximize the effectiveness of the IAT design, it will help the advancement of the test to stretch across various studies and laboratories (Banaji, Greenwald, & Nosek, 2005, p. 166).
Greenwald has studied and advanced the theory of Central Route to Persuasion; he and his colleagues agree a third step of elaboration is needed. The concept of elaboration allows the argument to be extended and for the receiver of the conversation to better process the information that he or she is being given. This helps individuals to determine the strength of the contents in the article and gives way to the idea that “strong arguments are persuasive, and weak arguments are not” (Fein, Kassin & Markus, 2008, p. 191).
One of Greenwald’s observations is of autobiographies. He mentions that since autobiographies are links to the past, these memories are vital in shaping our identities. It can motivate individuals to distort the past so that behaviors and events are well received by others (2008, p. 64). Greenwald can be quoted saying in 1980, “The past is remembered as if it were a drama in which the self was the leading player” (p. 64).