Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Cantor, Nancy

  • John F. KihlstromEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_392-1

Nancy Ellen Cantor, a leading proponent of the cognitive social-psychological approach to personality, and visionary university administrator, was born in New York City on April 2, 1952. Her mother, Marjorie, was a social worker who became a professor at Fordham University and served as president of the Gerontological Society of America; her father, Aaron, was an attorney. Educated at the Ethical Culture Schools, she received her AB in psychology from Sarah Lawrence College in 1974, and her PhD from Stanford University in 1978. She has held faculty positions at Princeton University (Assistant Professor, 1978–1981, Associate Professor, 1981–1983, Professor, 1991–1996) and the University of Michigan (Professor, 1987–2001). At Michigan, she was also Dean of the Horace Rackham School of Graduate Studies (1996–1997) and Provost (1997–2001). She subsequently served as Chancellor of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2001–2004), and Chancellor and President of Syracuse University...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Buss, D. M., & Cantor, N. (Eds.). (1989). Personality psychology: Recent trends and emerging directions. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  2. Cantor, N. (1981). Perceptions of situations: Situation prototypes and person-situation prototypes. In D. Magnusson (Ed.), Toward a psychology of situations: An interactional perspective (pp. 229–244). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  3. Cantor, N. (1982). “Everyday” and normative models of clinical and social judgment. In G. G. Weary & H. Mirels (Eds.), Integrations of social and clinical psychology (pp. 27–47). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Cantor, N. (1990a). From thought to behavior: Having and doing in the study of personality and cognition. American Psychologist, 45, 735–750.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.45.6.735.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cantor, N. (1990b). Social psychology and sociobiology: What can we leave to evolution? Motivation and Emotion, 14(4), 245–254.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00996183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cantor, N. (1994). Life task problem-solving: Situational affordances and personal needs, (Division 8 Presidential Address, American Psychological Association, 1993). Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20(3), 235–243.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167294203001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cantor, N. (2000). Life task problem solving: Situational affordances and personal needs. In E. T. Higgins & A. Kruglanski (Eds.), Motivational science: Social and personality perspectives (pp. 100–110). New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  8. Cantor, N. (2003). Constructive cognition, personal goals, and the social embedding of personality. In L. G. Aspinwall & U. M. Staudinger (Eds.), A psychology of human strengths: Fundamental directions and future directions for a positive psychology (pp. 49–60). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cantor, N. (2004a). Civic engagement: The university as a public good. Liberal Education, 90(2), 18–25.Google Scholar
  10. Cantor, N. (2004b). Introduction. In P. Gurin, J. S. Lehman, & E. Lewis (Eds.), Defending diversity: Affirmative action at the University of Michigan (pp. 1–16). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  11. Cantor, N. (2009). A new Morrill Act: Higher education anchors the ‘Remaking of America’. The Presidency, 12(3), 6–21.Google Scholar
  12. Cantor, N. (2013). From grutter to fisher and beyond: The compelling interest of diversity in higher education. University of San Francisco Law Review, 48(2), 261–272.Google Scholar
  13. Cantor, N. (2016). Doing psychology 24x7 and why it matters (afterward). In R. Sternberg, S. Fiske, & D. Foss (Eds.), Scientists making a difference: One hundred eminent behavioral and brain scientists talk about their most important contributions (pp. 493–496). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Cantor, N., & Englot, P. (2013). Beyond the “Ivory Tower”: Restoring the balance of private and public purposes of general education. Journal of General Education, 62(2–3), 120–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cantor, N., & Englot, P. (2016a). Expanding educational access: A critical anchor institution mission. Journal on Anchor Institutions and Communities, 1(1), 4–10.Google Scholar
  16. Cantor, N., & Englot, P. (2016b). Psychological science in public: It takes a diverse village to make a difference. In R. Zweigenhaft & E. Borgida (Eds.), Collaboration in psychological science: Behind the scenes (pp. 203–214). New York: Worth.Google Scholar
  17. Cantor, N., & Fleeson, W. (1994). Social intelligence and intelligent goal pursuit: A cognitive slice of motivation. Nebrasks Symposium on Motivation, 41, 125–179.Google Scholar
  18. Cantor, N., & Genero, N. (1986). Psychiatric diagnosis and natural categorization: A close analogy. In T. Millon & G. L. Klerman (Eds.), Contemporary directions in psychopathology: Toward the DSM-IV (pp. 233–256). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  19. Cantor, N., & Harlow, R. (1994). Personality, strategic behavior and daily life problem-solving. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 3(6), 169–172.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8721.ep10770688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cantor, N., & Kihlstrom, J. F. (1981). Personality, cognition, and social interaction. Hillsdale: L. Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  21. Cantor, N., & Kihlstrom, J. F. (1987). Personality and social intelligence. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  22. Cantor, N., & Langston, C. A. (1989). “Ups and downs” of life tasks in a life transition. In L. A. Pervin (Ed.), Goal concept in personality and social psychology (pp. 127–168). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  23. Cantor, N., & Mischel, W. (1977). Traits as prototypes: Effects on recognition memory. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 35, 38–48.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.35.1.38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Cantor, N., & Mischel, W. (1979a). Prototypes in person perception. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 12, pp. 3–52). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  25. Cantor, N., & Mischel, W. (1979b). Prototypicality and personality: Effects on free recall and personality impressions. Journal of Research in Personality, 13(2), 187–205.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0092-6566(79)90030-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Cantor, N., & Norem, J. K. (1989). Defensive pessimism and stress and coping. Social Cognition, 7, 92–112.  https://doi.org/10.1521/soco.1989.7.2.92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Cantor, N., & Sanderson, C. (1998). Social dating goals and the regulation of adolescent dating relationships and sexual behavior: The interaction of goals, strategies, and situations. In J. Heckhausen & C. Dweck (Eds.), Motivation and self-regulation aross the life span (pp. 185–215). Boston: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Cantor, N. E., & Thomas, E. A. (1977). Control of attention in the processing of temporal and spatial information in complex visual patterns. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 3(2), 243–250.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-1523.3.2.243.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Cantor, N., & Zirkel, S. (1990). Personality, cognition, and purposive behavior. In L. Pervin (Ed.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (pp. 135–164). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  30. Cantor, N., Smith, E. E., French, R., & Mezzich, J. (1980). Psychiatric diagnosis as prototype categorization. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 89, 181–193.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.89.2.181.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Cantor, N., Mischel, W., & Schwartz, J. (1982a). Social knowledge: Structure, content, use, and abuse. In A. Hastorf & A. Isen (Eds.), Cognitive social psychology (pp. 33–72). New York: Elsevier North-Holland.Google Scholar
  32. Cantor, N., Mischel, W., & Schwartz, J. C. (1982b). A prototype analysis of psychological situations. Cognitive Psychology, 14(1), 45–77.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0010-0285(82)90004-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Cantor, N., Pittman, T. S., & Jones, E. E. (1982c). Choice and attitude attributions: The influence of constraint information on attributions across levels of generality. Social Cognition, 1(1), 1–20.  https://doi.org/10.1521/soco.1982.1.1.1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Cantor, N., Mackie, D., & Lord, C. G. (1984). Choosing partners and activities: The social perceiver decides to mix it up. Social Cognition, 2(3), 256–272.  https://doi.org/10.1521/soco.1984.2.3.256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Cantor, N., Markus, H., Niedenthal, P., & Nurius, P. (1986). On motivation and the self-concept. In R. M. Sorrentino & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Motivation and cognition: Foundations of social behavior (pp. 96–121). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  36. Cantor, N., Norem, J. K., Niedenthal, P. M., Langston, C. A., & Brower, A. M. (1987). Life tasks, self-concept ideals, and cognitive strategies in a life transition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53(6), 1178–1191.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.53.6.1178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Cantor, N., Norem, J., Langston, C., Zirkel, S., Fleeson, W., & Cook-Flannagan, C. (1991). Life tasks and daily life experience. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 59(3), 425–451.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1991.tb00255.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Cantor, N., Acker, M., & Cook-Flannagan, C. (1992). Conflict and preoccupation in the intimacy life task. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63(4), 644–655.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.63.4.644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Cantor, N., Englot, P., & Higgins, M. (2013). Making the work of anchor institutions stick: Building coalitions and collective expertise. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 17(3), 17–46.Google Scholar
  40. Genero, N., & Cantor, N. (1987). Exemplar prototypes and clinical diagnosis: Toward a cognitive economy. Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, 5(1), 59–78.  https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.1987.5.1.59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Isen, A. M., Niedenthal, P. M., & Cantor, N. (1992). An influence of positive affect on social categorization. Motivation & Emotion, 16, 65–78.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00996487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kihlstrom, J. F., & Cantor, N. (1984). Mental representations of the self. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 17, pp. 1–47). New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  43. Kihlstrom, J. F., & Cantor, N. (2018). Social intelligence. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Cambridge handbook of intelligence (2nd ed., pp. in press). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Kihlstrom, J. F., Cantor, N., Albright, J. S., Chew, B. R., Klein, S. B., & Niedenthal, P. M. (1988). Information processing and the study of the self. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 21: Social psychological studies of the self: Perspectives and programs, pp. 145–178). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  45. Klinger, E. (1977). Meaning and void: Inner experience and the incentives in people’s lives. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  46. Lewis, E., & Cantor, N. (Eds.). (2016). Our compelling interests: The value of diversity for democracy and a prosperous society. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Little, B. R. (1989). Personal projects analysis: Trivial pursuits, magnificent obsessions, and the search for coherence. In D. Buss & N. Cantor (Eds.), Personality psychology: Recent trends and emerging directions. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  48. Markus, H., & Nurius, P. (1986). Possible selves. American Psychologist, 41, 954–969.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.41.9.954.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mischel, W., Cantor, N., & Feldman, S. (1996). Principles of self-regulation: The nature of willpower and self-control. In E. T. Higgins & A. W. Kruglanski (Eds.), Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles (pp. 329–360). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  50. Niedenthal, P. M., & Cantor, N. (1984). Making use of social prototypes: From fuzzy concepts to firm decisions. Fuzzy Sets and Systems, 14, 5–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Niedenthal, P. M., & Cantor, N. (1986). Affective responses as guides to category based inferences. Motivation and Emotion, 10, 217–232.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00992317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Niedenthal, P. M., Cantor, N., & Kihlstrom, J. F. (1985). Prototype matching: A strategy for social decision making. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 48(3), 575–584.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.48.3.575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Norem, J. K., & Cantor, N. (1986a). Anticipatory and post hoc cushioning strategies: Optimism and defensive pessimism in “risky” situations. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 10(3), 347–362.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01173471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Norem, J. K., & Cantor, N. (1986b). Defensive pessimism: Harnessing anxiety as motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 1208–1217.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.51.6.1208.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Norem, J. K., & Cantor, N. (1990a). Capturing the “flavor” of behavior: Cognition, affect, and interpretation. In B. S. Moore & A. M. Isen (Eds.), Affect and social behavior; affect and social behavior (pp. 39–63). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Norem, J. K., & Cantor, N. (1990b). Cognitive strategies, coping, and perceptions of competence. In J. K. R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Competence considered (pp. 190–204). New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Riggs, J. M., & Cantor, N. (1984). Getting acquainted: The role of the self-concept and preconceptions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 10(3), 432–445.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167284103012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sanderson, C. A., & Cantor, N. (2001). The association of intimacy goals and marital satisfaction: A test of four mediational hypotheses. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27(12), 1567–1577.  https://doi.org/10.1177/01461672012712001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sanderson, C. A., Maibach, E., DiIorio, C., & Cantor, N. (1999). Personal strategies for HIV prevention: The development and validation of a strategy-coding instrument. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 29(7), 1536–1554.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1999.tb00151.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Showers, C., & Cantor, N. (1985). Social cognition: A look at motivated strategies. Annual Review of Psychology, 36, 375–305.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ps.36.020185.001423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Snyder, M., & Cantor, N. (1979). Testing hypotheses about other people: The use of historical knowledge. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 15(4), 330–342.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1031(79)90042-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Snyder, M., & Cantor, N. (1980). Thinking about ourselves and others: Self-monitoring and social knowledge. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39(2), 222–234.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.39.2.222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Snyder, M., & Cantor, N. (1998). Understanding personality and social behavior: A functionalist strategy. In D. T. Gilbert, S. T. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (Vol. 1, 4th ed., pp. 635–679). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  64. Zirkel, S., & Cantor, N. (2004). 50 years after Brown v. Board of Education: The promise and challenge of multicultural education. Journal of Social Issues, 60(1), 1–15.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-4537.2004.00096.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alicia Limke-McLean
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Central OklahomaEdmondUSA