David W. Johnson

David W. Johnson is a social psychologist whose research has focused on four overlapping areas: cooperative, competitive, and individualistic efforts; constructive controversy; conflict resolution and peer mediation and experiential learning to teach interpersonal and small group skills.

In these areas, Johnson has engaged in a cycle of (a) reviewing the research literature, (b) summarizing, modifying and extending existing theory; (c) creating, validating and refining new theory; (d) creating and implementing operational procedures that apply the validated theory and (e) revising the theory on the basis of the implementation. Johnson has developed and applied psychological knowledge in effort to improve practices within educational systems.

Johnson was born in Muncie, Indiana in 1940. He grew up in a family of seven children, living for several years on a family farm. Currently, he lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He graduated from Ball State University in 1962, received a masters degree and a doctoral degree in social psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1964 and 1966 respectively, with Morton Deutsch as his dissertation advisor.

Since 1966 he has worked at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Educational Psychology, becoming a full professor in 1973. His brother Roger Johnson came to the University of Minnesota in 1969 and together they founded the Cooperative Learning Center.

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