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Harris Cooper

Harris Cooper

Harris Cooper received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1975. From 1977 to 2003, he was on the faculty at the University of Missouri. In 2003, he moved to Duke University where he is a professor in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience and served as Director of the Program in Education from 2003 to 2008. Dr. Cooper has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, the University of Oregon, and the Russell Sage Foundation.

Dr. Cooper's research interests follow two paths. The first concerns research synthesis and research methodology. His book, Synthesizing Research: A Guide for Literature Reviews (1998), is in revision for its 4th edition. He is the co-editor of the Handbook of Research Synthesis (1994), a volume that is currently being prepared for a 2nd edition. Dr. Cooper and his students have published over two dozen research syntheses, many of which appeared in varied prestigious journals including Psychological Bulletin, Review of Educational Research, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Journal of Marketing Research, and Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. In 2007, Dr. Cooper was the recipient of the Frederick Mosteller Award for Contributions to Research Synthesis Methodology given by the Campbell Collaboration and in 2008 he received the Ingram Olkin Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Research Synthesis from the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology.

In 2007, Dr. Cooper was appointed to membership on the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Social Science Evidence in Use. This committee gives sustained attention to issues and actions aimed at promoting high quality social science research with an eye toward improving evidence used in public policy decision-making. He is also a member of the NAS Committee on Advancing Social Science Theory: The Importance of Common Metrics. In 2007-08, he chaired the Journal Article Reporting Standards Working Group that developed guidelines for what information about research should be included in manuscripts submitted to journals published by the American Psychological Association (American Psychologist, in press). Dr. Cooper authored the chapter on “Research Questions and Research Design” in the Handbook of Research in Educational Psychology. He is co-author of the Study Design and Implementation Assessment Device (DIAD), an instrument for assessing the correspondence between the features and conduct of social science research and its ability to draw inferences about causal relationships (Psychological Methods, 2008). He recently agreed to be the editor of the American Psychological Association’s three-volume Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology.

Dr. Cooper is also interested in the application of social and developmental psychology to educational policy issues. In particular, he studies how the activities that children and adolescents engage in when they are not in school influence their academic achievement. His research synthesis titled Homework (1989) was published as a monograph and provided the evidence base for a guide to policy and practice (The Battle over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents, 3rd edition, 2007). He and his students recently updated the synthesis of homework research (Review of Educational Research, 2006) and the resulting article received the 2007 Outstanding Review of Research Award from the American Educational Research Association.

Dr. Cooper ´s research on homework has had an impact on policies and practices nationwide. In addition to working directly with schools and school districts, his work has been highlighted frequently in national media. Dr. Cooper has been a guest on NBC Dateline, CBS This Morning, ABC Nightly News and Good Morning America, CNN Headline News, Nickelodeon Nick News, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. On radio, he has appeared on The Larry King Show, NPR’s Talk of the Nation and the Mitch Ablom Show. Coverage of his work has also appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, Readers´ Digest, and USA Today Weekend, as well as every major metropolitan newspaper. More specialized publications also have provided coverage of his work, including Parents, Parenting, and Child magazines, NEA Today, and The American Teacher.

Dr. Cooper and his students also study the impact of school calendars and calendar variations on students and their families. Their research syntheses on summer learning loss (1996) and modified school calendars (2003) were published in Review of Educational Research. In 2000, their monograph entitled Making the Most of Summer School was published by the Society for Research on Child Development. This monograph reported a synthesis of over 90 evaluations of the effectiveness of summer school. Dr. Cooper and his students are currently working on syntheses of research regarding the effects of all-day kindergarten, extending the school year, and lengthening the school day on students’ academic achievement and related outcomes.

In 2003, Dr. Cooper became Editor for the Psychological Bulletin and will serve through mid-2009. The Institute for Scientific Information (2006) ranked the Psychological Bulletin 1st among all multidisciplinary psychology journals with regard to both the number of times it is cited and the impact of articles on the field. It ranked 5th among all social science journals (n=1768) in total citations and 3rd in impact factor. He has been Associate Editor of Social Psychology of Education, and an Advisory Editor for the Journal of Educational Psychology, the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the Elementary School Journal, Journal of Experimental Education, and the American Educational Research Journal.

Dr. Cooper is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association Divisions 3 and 15, the American Psychological Society, and the American Educational Research Association. His research grants include three awards from the National Science Foundation, five from the Department of Education, two from the Russell Sage Foundation, two from the Smith Richardson Foundation, and one each from the Spencer Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. In 1984, Dr. Cooper received the first Raymond B. Cattell Early Career Award for Programmatic Research from the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Dr. Cooper served a three-year term as the Chair of the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri. This academic unit had over 30 regular faculty members and 20 non-regular faculty members and trained over 70 graduate students and 800 undergraduate majors each year. As Director of Duke University’s Program in Education, he oversaw teacher licensure programs at both the elementary and secondary level. From 1992 to 1998, he served as an elected member of the Columbia, MO, Board of Education, a school district with a $100 million budget serving 16,000 students. In 1997, he won the AERA Award for Interpretive Scholarship for his article “Speaking Power to Truth: Reflections of an Educational Researcher after Four Years of School Board Service.”

Dr. Cooper served for six years (1999-2005) as the chair of the methods groups for the Campbell Collaboration and as their representative on the Campbell Collaboration International Steering Committee. His national service includes sitting on two committees on afterschool programs for the C.S. Mott Foundation and on the Steering Committee of the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Programs. He was the Chair of the APA Council of Editors in 2006 and is a member of its committee revising the APA Publication Manual. He is on the Steering Committee of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness and on the Governing Board of the Regional Educational Laboratory serving the Appalachian region.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Causal Attribution
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Research Methods, Assessment
  • Social Cognition

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Journal Articles:

  • Anderson, K., Cooper, H. M., & Okamura, L. (1997). Individual differences and attitudes toward rape: A metaanalytic review. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 295-315.
  • Conn, V. S., Valentine, J. C., & Cooper, H. (2002). Interventions to increase physical activity among aging adults: A meta-analysis. Annals of Behavior Medicine, 24, 190-200.
  • Cooper, H., DeNeve, K., & Charlton, K. (1997). Finding the missing science: The fate of studies submitted for review by a human subjects committee. Psychological Methods, 2, 447-452.
  • Cooper, H. M., & Patall, E. A. (2009). The relative benefits of meta-analysis using individual participant data and aggregate data. Psychological Methods, 14, 165-176.
  • Cooper, H., Robinson, J. C., & Patall, E. A. (2006). Does homework improve academic achievement? A synthesis of research, 1987-2003. Review of Educational Research, 76, 1-62.
  • Cooper, H., Valentine, J. C., Charleton, K., & Barnett, A. (2003). The effects of modified school calendars on student achievement and school community attitudes: A research synthesis. Review of Educational Research, 73, 1-52.
  • DeNeve, K. M., & Cooper, H. (1998). The happy personality: A meta-analysis of 143 personality traits and subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 197-229.
  • DePaulo, B. M., Charleton, K., Cooper, H., Lindsay, J. J., & Muhlenbruck, L. (1997). The accuracy-confidence correlation in the detection of deception. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1, 346-357.
  • DePaulo, B. M., Lindsay, J. J., Malone, B. E., Muhlenbruck, L., Charlton, K., & Cooper, H. (2003). Cues to deception. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 74-118.
  • DuBois, D. L., Holloway, B. E., Valentine, J. C., & Cooper, H. (2002). Effectiveness of mentoring programs for youth: A meta-analytic review. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30, 157-197.
  • Journal Article Reporting Standards Working Group. (2008). Reporting standards for research in psychology: Why do we need them? What might they be? American Psychologist, 63(9), 839-851.
  • Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. C. (2008). The effects of choice on intrinsic motivation and related outcomes: A meta-analysis of research findings. Psychological Bulletin, 134, 270-300.
  • Valentine, J. C., DuBois, D. L., & Cooper, H. (2004). The relations between self-beliefs and academic achievement: A systematic review. Educational Psychologist, 39, 111-133.

Other Publications:

  • Wynn, S., & Cooper, H. (2007). Bob Dylan. In G. L. Anderson & K. Herr, (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice (pp. 489-492). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Courses Taught:

  • Research Design
  • Research Methods (graduate)
  • Research Methods in Psychological Science (undergraduate)
  • Research Synthesis

Harris Cooper
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Box 90086
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina 27708
United States of America

  • Work: (919) 660-5664
  • Home: (919) 401-5550
  • Fax: (919) 660-5726

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