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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Peter Gray

research professor


Ph.D., The Rockefeller University, 1972


Scholarly Interests: Children's play (particularly age-mixed play); self-directed learning; evolutionary psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, general psychology, role of play in human biological and cultural evolution.

Academic Profile: Professor Gray joined the faculty in the Fall of 1972 and taught regularly until the Spring of 2002. He is author of PSYCHOLOGY, an introductory textbook now in its sixth edition, and, most recently, FREE TO LEARN: WHY UNLEASING THE INSTINCT TO PLAY WILL MAKE OUR CHILDREN HAPPIER, MORE SELF-RELIANT, AND BETTER STUDENTS FOR LIFE. His past research had to do with basic mammalian motivational mechanisms, and his present research has to do with children's play and its educative value. Professor Gray is now retired from regular teaching, but continues to conduct and publish research and give guest lectures.

Curriculum Vitae*

Free to Learn (Basic Books, 2013)

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

Psychology Today Blog

Biography & PDFs of Some Articles

*Please note: These files are Adobe Acrobat® (PDF) formatted files. To view them, you will need the free Adobe Acrobat file reader.