Michele Gelfand

Michele Gelfand

  • John H. Scully Professor in Cross-Cultural Management and Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford GSB
  • Professor of Psychology (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences
  • CDDRL Affiliated Faculty

Stanford Graduate School of Business 
655 Knight Way 
Stanford, CA 94305 

650.497.4507 (voice)


Michele Gelfand is a Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Professor of Psychology by Courtesy at Stanford University. Gelfand uses field, experimental, computational, and neuroscience methods to understand the evolution of culture — as well as its multilevel consequences for human groups. Her work has been cited over 20,000 times and has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, National Public Radio, Voice of America, Fox News, NBC News, ABC News, The Economist, De Standard, among other outlets.

Gelfand has published her work in many scientific outlets such as Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Psychological Science, Nature Scientific Reports, PLOS 1, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Research in Organizational Behavior, Journal of Applied Psychology, Annual Review of Psychology, American Psychologist, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Current Opinion in Psychology, among others. She has received over 13 million dollars in research funding from the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and the FBI.

She is the author of Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire the World (Scribner, 2018) and co-editor of the following books: Values, Political Action, and Change in the Middle East and the Arab Spring (Oxford University Press, 2017); The Handbook of Conflict and Conflict Management (Taylor & Francis, 2013); and The Handbook of Negotiation and Culture (2004, Stanford University Press). Additionally, she is the founding co-editor of the Advances in Culture and Psychology Annual Series and the Frontiers of Culture and Psychology series (Oxford University Press). She is the past President of the International Association for Conflict Management, past Division Chair of the Conflict Division of the Academy of Management, and past Treasurer of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology. She has received several awards and honors, such as being elected to the National Academy of Sciences (2021) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2019), the 2017 Outstanding International Psychologist Award from the American Psychological Association, the 2016 Diener Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and the Annaliese Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.


Journal Articles
February 2024

Explaining the evolution of gossip

cover link Explaining the evolution of gossip

In The News

Gavel and word bubble

Gossip is good, Stanford scientist suggests

Researchers “spill the tea” on why gossiping may promote social cooperation.
cover link Gossip is good, Stanford scientist suggests
People gossiping

Psst — Wanna Know Why Gossip Has Evolved in Every Human Society?

Talking about other people behind their backs can be an important way of encouraging cooperation, according to a new theoretical model.
cover link Psst — Wanna Know Why Gossip Has Evolved in Every Human Society?
Michele Gelfand elected to Council on Foreign Relations

Michele Gelfand Elected as New Member of the Council on Foreign Relations

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is a nonpartisan think tank that provides information and analysis on international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.
cover link Michele Gelfand Elected as New Member of the Council on Foreign Relations