Dr. Peter Suedfeld is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. He is one of the pioneering researchers in the field of Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) and in his field research he has studied the reactions and adaptation of crews in the Antarctic, the Canadian High Arctic, and in space vehicles, as well as survivors of the Holocaust and other traumatic events. His research findings were among the first to emphasize the positive aspects and consequences of these experiences.
Research interests include the effects of challenging and stressful environments and experiences on psychological processes and behaviour, including coping, positive and negative outcomes, and both short- and long-term aftereffects. Examples of the environments and experiences studied are: living and working in extreme and unusual situations such as space vehicles and polar stations; isolation and confinement; high-level political and military decision-making; surviving genocide and persecution.
Isolated, Confined, and Extreme Environments
Johnson, P.J., Asmaro, D.,Suedfeld, P., & Gushin, V.I. (2012). Thematic content analysis of work-family interactions: Retired cosmonauts’ reflections. Acta Astronautica, 81, 306-317.
Sawyer, B.D., Hancock, P.A., Deaton, J., & Suedfeld, P. (2012). Finding the team for Mars: A psychological and human factors analysis of a Mars Desert Research Station crew. Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation, 43, 5481-5484.
Suedfeld, P., Halliwell, J.E., Rank, A.D., & Buckley, N.D. (2016). Psychosocial aspects of spaceflight and aging. REACH – Reviews in Human Space Exploration, 2, 24-29.
Suedfeld, P., Archdekin, B., Shiozaki, L., Sandhu, H.L.K., & Wood, M. (2017). The polar exploration diary of Mark Wood: A thematic content analysis. The Polar Journal, 7(1), 227-241.
Suedfeld, P., Rank, A.D., & Malůs, M. (2018). Spontaneous mental experiences in extreme and unusual environments. In K.C.R. Fox & K. Christoff (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of spontaneous thought. Oxford University Press.
Vinokhodova A.G., Gushin V.I., Yusupova A.K., Suedfeld P., & Johnson P.J. (2018). Retrospective analysis of interpersonal perception and values of experienced cosmonauts: Participants of international flights at the orbital station "Mir" and ISS. (in Russian). Aviakosmicheskaya b Ecologicheskaya meditsina [Aerospace and Ecological Medicine]
Suedfeld, P., Johnson, P.J., Gushin, V.I., & Brcic, J. (2018). Motivational profiles of retired cosmonauts. Acta Astronautica, https://doilorg/10.1016/j.actaastro.2018.02.038
Brcic, J., Suedfeld, P., Johnson, P.J., Huynh, T., & Gushin, V.I. (2018). Humor as a coping strategy in spaceflight. Acta Astronautica, 152, 175-178.
Murray, D.R., Schaller, M., & Suedfeld, P. (2013). Pathogens and politics: Further evidence that parasite prevalence predicts authoritarianism. PLOS One, 8(5): e62275. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062275.
Suedfeld, P., Cross, R.W., & Logan, C. (2013). Can thematic content analysis separate the pyramid of ideas from the pyramid of action? A comparison among different degrees of commitment to violence. In H. Cabayan, V. Sitterle, & M. Yandura (Eds.), Looking back, looking forward: Perspectives on terrorism and responses to it (pp. 61-68). Washington, DC: Strategic Multi-layer Assessment Occasional White Paper.
Tetlock, P.E., Metz, S.E., Scott, S.E., & Suedfeld, P. (2014). Integrative complexity coding raises integratively complex issues. Political Psychology, 35(5), 625-634.
Suedfeld, P. (2014). Political and military geniuses: Psychological profiles and responses to stress. In D.K. Simonton (Ed.) The Wiley handbook of genius (pp. 244-266). New York: Wiley.
Moore, J.W., Suedfeld, P., & McLellan, L. (2014). Integrative complexity: An innovative technique for assessing the quality of English translations of the Qu’ran. New Voices in Translation Studies, 11, 120-144.
Nicolas, M., Suedfeld, P., Weiss, K., & Gaudino, M. (2015). Affective, social, and cognitive outcomes during a 1-year wintering in Concordia. Environment and Behavior, First published online, Environment and Behavior, 0013916515583551, April 22, 2015.
Suedfeld, P., & Jhangiani, R.S. (2015). Was ist Politische Psychologie? [What is political psychology?] In S. Zmerli & O. Feldman (Eds.), Politische Psychologie: Handbuch für Studium und Wissenschaft [Political psychology: Handbook for study and science] (pp. 18-29). Baden-Baden, Germany: Nomos.
Suedfeld, P., & Morrison, B.H. (2015). Thematic content analyses of texts by relevant leaders and groups. In B.Bragg (Tech. Ed.), Drivers of conflict and convergence in the Asia-Pacific region in the next 5-25 years (pp. 55-66).
Suedfeld, P. (2015). Decision-making under stress: The decline in complex thinking. In N.D. Wright & A. Astorino-Cpourteois (Eds.), The science of decision-making across the span of human activity (pp. 19-30).
Morrison, B.H., & Suedfeld, P. (2016). Si vis pacem, para bellum. [If you wish peace, be prepared for war.] In J.G. Giordano (Exec. Ed.), Anticipating threats to U.S. security interests: A bio-psycho-social science approach for understanding the emergence of and mitigating radicalized violence and terrorism (pp. 147-150).
Suedfeld, P. (2017). Leaders under stress: Does cognitive ability affect career stability? In P. Bursens, C. De Landtsheer, L. Braeckmans, & B. Segaert (Eds.), Complex political decision-making: Leadership, legitimacy, and communication (pp. 97-110). London: Routledge.
Suedfeld, P., & Morrison, B.H. (2018). The role of integrative complexity in forecasting and influence. In S. Canna & M. Egan (Eds.) Influence in an age of rising connectedness. Washington, DC: A Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) White Paper.
Conway, L.G. III, Suedfeld, P., & Tetlock, P.E. (2018). Integrative complexity in politics. Oxford handbook of behavioral political science.
Genocide and Persecution
Chang, S., & Suedfeld, P. (2017). The faithful do not yield: Jehovah’s Witnesses in Nazi camps. Genocide Studies International, 11(2), 228-239.
Social, Cognitive, and Personality Psychology
Suedfeld, P. (2012). Are we still indomitable? Homo invictus fifteen years later. Canadian Psychology, 53(1), 21-31.
Suedfeld, P. (2015). Indomitability, resilience, and posttraumatic growth. In D. Ajdukovic, S. Kimhi, & M. Lahad (Eds.), Resiliency: Enhancing coping with crisis and terrorism (pp. 1-18). Amsterdam, Netherlands: IOS Press.
Suedfeld, P. (2016). On the way from WEIRD to STEM, psychology hits a bump. Canadian Psychology, 57(1), 60–64.
Suedfeld, P. (2017). The place of integrative complexity in the study of human cognition. (in Japanese). In K. Oishi & Y. Araki (Eds.), Gengo to seiji [Language and politics], pp. 221-253). Tokyo: Aiiku sha Press.
- Officer of the Order of Canada (2019)
- Royal Canadian Geographical Society
- Lawrence J. Burpee Gold Medal (2018)
- Lawrence J. Burpee Gold Medal (2018)
- University of Nîmes (Hon.) (2018)
- Canadian Honours Polar Medal (2016)
- Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012)
- Canadian Psychological Association
- Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology Award (2015)
- Gold Medal Award (2011)
- Donald O. Hebb Award (1996)
- International Society of Self and Identity
- Roberta Sigel Award (2005)
- Harold D. Lasswell Award (2001)
- UBC Arts Undergraduate Society and Alma Mater Society Just Desserts Award (2001)
- Zachor Award of the Parliament of Canada (2000)
- Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies – Distinguished Scholar in Residence (2000)
- US National Science Foundation - Antartica Service Medal (1994)
- Royal Society of Canada Fellow (1988)
- American Psychological Association Fellow
- Association for Psychological Science Fellow
- International Academy of Astronauts Fellow
- Academy of Behavioural Medicine Research Fellow
- New York Academy of Sciences Fellow
- Society of Experimental Social Psychology Fellow