Dr. Donelson R. Forsyth
Professor, Colonel Leo K. & Gaylee Thorsness Endowed Chair in Ethical Leadership

A social and personality psychologist, Dr. Forsyth studies groups, leadership, ethical thought, and moral judgment. In addition to his general interest in group processes and psychological aspects of moral judgments, he explores empirically the psychological and interpersonal consequences of success and failure at the group and individual level, individual differences in ethical ideology, and perceptions of leaders.

He has authored more than 150 books, chapters, and articles on ethics, groups, and related topics, and his work has appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, American Psychologist, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. His work has been supported by grants from the NIH, NSF, JPL/NASA, and SCHEV. In 1996 he founded the journal Group Dynamics and served in 2008 as the president of Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy.

At the Jepson School, he teaches courses such as Group Dynamics and Leadership and the Social Sciences.

Distinguished Educator Award, University of Richmond, 2010
State of Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, 2002
Award of Excellence, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2002
Distinguished Scholar Award, Virginia Social Science Association, 2001
Outstanding Group Psychologist, American Psychological Association, 1996
Selected Publications

Kong, D.T. & Forsyth, D.R. (2015). Leading through conflict: Into the fray. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Forsyth, D. R. (2015). College teaching: Practical insights from the science of teaching and learning. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Forsyth, D. R. (2014). Group dynamics (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage.

Forsyth, D. R. & Hoyt, C. L. (Ed.). (2011). For the greater good of all: Perspectives on individualism, society, and leadership. New York: Palgrave McMillan.

Hoyt, C. L., Goethals, A. R., & Forsyth, D. R. (Eds.). (2008). Social psychology of leadership. New York: Praeger.

Forsyth, D. R. (2003). The professor's guide to teaching: Psychological principles and practices. Washington: American Psychological Association.

Forsyth, D. R. (1995). Our social world. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Snyder, C. R., & Forsyth, D. R. (1991). Handbook of social and clinical psychology: The health perspective. New York: Pergamon.

Higginbotham, H. N., West, S. G., & Forsyth, D. R. (1988). Psychotherapy and behavior change: Social, cultural, and methodological perspectives. New York: Pergamon.

Forsyth, D. R. (1987). Social psychology. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Forsyth, D. R. (1983). An introduction to group dynamics. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.


Van Tongeren, D. R., Burnette, J. L., O’ Boyle, E., Worthington, E. L., & Forsyth, D. (2014). A meta-analysis of intergroup forgiveness. Journal of Positive Psychology, 9, 81-95.

O'Boyle, E. H., Jr., Forsyth, D. R., Story, P. A., & Banks, G. C. (2013). The dark triad–intelligence connection: No support for the “Evil Genius” hypothesis. Journal of Research in Personality, 47, 789-794.

O’Boyle, E. H., Jr., Forsyth, D. R., Banks, G., & McDaniel, M. (2012). A meta-analysis of the dark triad and work outcomes: A social exchange perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97, 557-579.

O’Boyle, E. H., Jr., Forsyth, D.R., & O’Boyle, A. S. (2011). Bad apples or bad barrels: An examination of group- and organizational-level effects in the study of counterproductive work behavior. Group & Organizational Management, 36, 39-69.

Burnette, J. L., Forsyth, D. R., & Pollack, J. M. (2011). Leadership in extreme contexts: A groupthink analysis of the May 1996 Mount Everest disaster. Journal of Leadership Studies, 4, 29-40.

Forsyth, D. R., & O’Boyle, E. H. (2011). Rules, standards, and ethics: Relativism predicts cross-national differences in the codification of moral standards. International Business Review, 20, 353–361.

Forsyth, D. R., O'Boyle, E. H., & McDaniel, M. A. (2008). East meets West: A meta-analytic investigation of cultural variations in idealism and relativism. Journal of Business Ethics, 83, 813-833.

Forsyth, D. R. (2004). Inferences about actions performed in constraining contexts: Correspondence bias or correspondent inference? Current Psychology: Developmental, Learning, Personality, Social, 23, 41-51.

Forsyth, D. R. (2001). Breaking standards of morality when studying morality: Case commentaries. Ethics & Behavior, 11, 357-360.

Forsyth, D. R., Zyzniewski, L. E., & Giammanco, C. A. (2002). Responsibility diffusion in cooperative collectives. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 54-65.

Forsyth, D. R. (2000). The social psychology of groups and group psychotherapy: One view of the next century. Group, 24, 147-155.

Forsyth, D. R., Elliott, T. R., & Welsh, J. A. (1999). The functions of groups: A psychometric analysis of the group resources inventory. International Journal of Action Methods, 52, 1-14.

Forsyth, D. R (1998). Methodological advances in the study of group dynamics. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 2, 211-212.

Forsyth, D. R., Wittenbaum, G. M. (1998). Nothing is wrong, change is inevitable. Contemporary Psychology, 43, 476-477.

Forsyth, D. R. (1997). The scientific study of groups: An editorial. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 1, 36.

Wright, S. S., & Forsyth, D. R. (1997). Group membership and collective identity: Consequences for self-esteem. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 16, 43-56.

In the News

The wrath of Beyoncé's Beyhive: how fans have lost the plot
Sat., Apr. 30, 2016

Grading Greek life on college campuses
Wed., Feb. 12, 2014

Why the madness on Black Friday?
Fri., Nov. 29, 2013

Forsyth comments: Yellen likely to join other women in key economic roles
Sat., Oct. 19, 2013

When passions for teams get out of hand
Fri., Sep. 27, 2013

Popular in Latino community, money pools a community approach to lending (Cronkite News)
Thu., Sep. 19, 2013

Research by Donelson R. Forsyth mentioned in The Wall Street Journal
Tue., Apr. 23, 2013

On game day, sometimes winning isn't everything
Fri., Feb. 1, 2013

Fan psychology: Why we 'grieve' when our sports teams suffer gut-wrenching losses (ThePostGame)
Fri., Oct. 19, 2012

Perception of sports fans in KC takes hit (Associated Press, ESPN)
Thu., Oct. 11, 2012

Leadership studies professor comments on mob mentality
Wed., May. 23, 2012

Do fired Navy COs suffer from 'Bathsheba Syndrome'?
Thu., Mar. 15, 2012

Professor comments on March Madness in the workplace (USA Today)
Wed., Mar. 14, 2012

Professor comments on March Madness in the workplace (USA Today)
Wed., Mar. 14, 2012

Social psychologist Don Forsyth comments on Penn State student response (ThePostGame)
Wed., Mar. 14, 2012

Professor comments on the cultural phenomenon of March Madness for CNN, Fox News and other news outlets
Mon., Nov. 14, 2011

Professor comments on the cultural phenomenon of March Madness for CNN, Fox News and other news outlets
Fri., Sep. 2, 2011

Social psychologist comments on mob mentality and violence at sporting events (American Chronicle)

D.Phil., University of Florida 1978
M.A., University of Florida 1975
B.S., Florida State University 1974
Psychology and Sociology
Contact Information
(804) 289-8461
(804) 287-6062 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Group Dynamics
Social Behavior
Psychology of Morality