Gary Greenberg, Ph.D.

Title: Professor Emeritus of Psychology

Brooklyn College, B.S., 1962
University of Wichita, M.A., 1964
Kansas State University, Ph.D., 1970

Gary Greenberg, Ph.D.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, I received a B.S. degree from Brooklyn College in 1961, an M.A. degree from the University of Wichita in 1964 and a Ph.D. degree from Kansas State University in 1970. As a comparative psychologist and a developmental psychobiologist, my interests are in the evolution and development of behavior. I understand comparative psychology to be a general psychology, the search for general principles of behavior which apply across the animal spectrum, humans included. My book (with M. M. Haraway, Principles of Comparative Psychology, 2002, Allyn & Bacon,), presents a unified theoretical perspective for all behavior. Evolution plays an important role in my approach, though I am not an evolutionary psychologist. I emphasize development and understand psychology to be a developmental science. While recognizing the importance of biology, I see it as simply a participating and not a causal factor in behavior development. Accordingly my recent papers have argued that psychology is not a biological science and have taken a strong stance against genetic and neural determinism. My most recent publications show how contemporary ideas in physics (dynamic systems theory, self-organization, emergence) and in biology (evolution, epigenetics) play important roles in the contemporary portrayal of psychology as a natural science. I am a founding member (with Ethel Tobach) of the International Society for Comparative Psychology and a Fellow in APA’s Divisions 1 (Society for General Psychology), 6 (Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology), and 52 (International Psychology).

Representative Publications:

Greenberg, G. (2016). How many nails does it take to seal the coffin? RJ Perry Killer apes, naked people & just plain nasty people: The misuse and abuse of science in political discourse. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, 2015. (PDF)

Greenberg, G. & Partridge, T. (2000). Prologemena to Praxiology redux: The psychology of Zing-Yang Kuo. From Past to Future: Clark Papers on the History of Psychology. Vol 2(2). From instinct to epigenesis: Lessons from Zing-Yang Kuo (pp. 13-37). (PDF)

Greenberg, G., Partridge, T., Weiss, E. & Pisula, W. (2004). Comparative psychology: A new perspective for the 21st century: Up the spiral staircase. Developmental Psychobiology, 44, 1-15. (PDF)

Greenberg, G., Partridge, T. & Ablah, E. (2006). The significance of the concept of “emergence” for comparative psychology. In D. Washburn (Ed.). Primate perspectives on behavior and cognition (pp. 81-97). Washington, DC: APA Books. (PDF)

Greenberg, G. (2008). Psychology from the standpoint of an interbehaviorist. Extended review of J. R. Kantor and interbehaviorism. Psychological Record, 58, 665-676. (PDF)

Greenberg, G. & Partridge, T. (2010). Biology, evolution, and psychological development. In W. F. Overton (Ed.), Cognition, biology, and methods. Volume 1 of the Handbook of life-span development (pp. 115-148). Editor-in-chief: R. M. Lerner. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. (PDF)

Partridge, T. & Greenberg, G. (2010). Contemporary ideas in physics and biology in Gottlieb’s psychology. In Hood, K. T., Halpern, C. T., Greenberg, G. & Lerner, R. M. Handbook of developmental science, behavior, and genetics (pp. 166-202). Malden, MA: Blackwell. (PDF)

Greenberg, G., Halpern, C. T., Hood, K. E., & Lerner, R. M. (2010). Developmental systems, nature-nurture, and the role of genes in behavior and development: On the legacy of Gilbert Gottlieb. In G. Greenberg, C. T. Halpern, K. E. Hood, & R. M. Lerner (Eds.). Handbook of developmental systems, behavior and genetics. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell (PDF)

Greenberg, G. (2012). Comparative psychology and ethology. In N. M. Seele (Ed.). Encyclopedia of the sciences of learning. New York: Springer. (PDF)

Greenberg, G. (2012). The failure of biogenetic analysis in psychology: Why psychology is not a biological science. Research in Human Development, 8, 173-191. (Awarded the Erin Phillips Award, Best paper of the year in this journal) (PDF)

Greenberg, G., Callina, K. S. & Mueller, M. K. (2013). Emergence, self-organization, and developmental science. In R. M. Lerner & J. Benson (Eds.), Advances in child development and behavior. Oxford, UK: Elsevier. (PDF)

Greenberg, G. (2014). How new ideas in physics and biology influence developmental science. Research in Human Development, 11(1), 5-21. (PDF)

Greenberg, G. (2015). The case against behavioral genetics. Review of A. Panofsky (2014). Misbehaving science: Controversy and the development of behavior genetics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Developmental Psychobiology, 57, 854-857. (PDF)


Greenberg, G. & Haraway, M. M. (Eds). (1998). Comparative psychology: A handbook. New York: Garland Publishing.

Greenberg, G. & Haraway, M. M. (2002). Principles of comparative psychology. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Hood, K. E., Halpern, C. E., Greenberg, G. & Lerner, R. M. (Eds.). (2010). Handbook of developmental science, behavior, and genetics. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

T. C. Schneirla Conference Series on the Evolution and Development of Behavior:

Greenberg, G. & Tobach, E. (Eds.). (1984). Behavioral evolution and integrative levels. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Greenberg, G. & Tobach, E. (Eds.). (1987). Language, consciousness, cognition: Integrative levels. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Greenberg, G. & Tobach, E. (Eds.). (1988). Evolution of social behavior and in-tegrative levels. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Greenberg, G. & Tobach, E. (Eds.). (1990). Theories of the evolution of knowing. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Hood, K., Greenberg, G. & Tobach, E. (Eds.) (1995). Behavioral development: Concepts of approach/withdrawal and integrative levels. New York: Garland.

Greenberg, G. & Tobach, E. (Eds.). (1997). The comparative psychology of invertebrates: The field and laboratory study of insects. New York: Garland