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John R. P. French Jr.
Regents' Proceedings 288

John R. P. French, Jr., research scientist at the Research Center for Group Dynamics and professor emeritus of psychology, retired from active faculty status on June 30, 1982, after a very productive career as a teacher and a researcher.

A native of Boston, Professor French did his undergraduate work at Antioch College between the years 1932-35, and at Black Mountain College in Black Mountain, North Carolina, where he received his undergraduate degree in 1937. He then proceeded to Harvard University, where he received his M.A. degree in 1939 and his Ph.D. degree in 1940.

After graduating from Harvard, Professor French served for two years as an instructor at Black Mountain College. He then moved on to carry out research under Kurt Lewin at the Iowa Child Welfare Research Station at the State University of Iowa. From 1943-48, he was the vice president in charge of training for the Nejelski Company. He returned to academic and research work in 1947, joining Kurt Lewin, the founder of the Research Center for Group Dynamics, which was then located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. When the Research Center moved to the University of Michigan in 1948, he, too, moved, and he has been associated with this world-renowned institution ever since.

Professor French's dissertation is a classic in the field and has been cited very widely; in it he observed the cohesion of groups under distress and in danger. Since then, Professor French has continued to have a productive research career. For his contributions to the field, in 1964 the National Institute for Mental Health awarded him the coveted Research Center Award; he held this award continuously from 1964 until his retirement. Professor

French's other classic work, published in 1948, concerned the influence of group decision. In this research, he was able to demonstrate how resistance to change emergent in group situations may be overcome by various decision processes. His work at that early stage laid the groundwork for the modern movement of the participatory approach to management. He also made important contributions in the field of power, leadership, and health behavior.

Professor French holds many honors, among them the presidency of the Society of the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

The Regents now salute this distinguished scholar and educator for his dedicated service by naming John R. P. French, Jr., Research Scientist Emeritus.