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Todd Pittinsky

Photo Professor

Ph.D., Harvard University

Dr. Todd Pittinsky’s research investigates the well-known problems and underestimated potential of diverse communities, with a central focus on positive intergroup relations. This under-studied reality is the common element in his recent work on (a) the educational consequences, in quantitative domains, of positive stereotypes about ethnic minorities, (b) a theory of allophilia in diverse collectives (the Two-Dimensional Model of Intergroup Attitudes), and (c) leadership that bring groups together to reach common goals (intergroup leadership). In all this work, he models intergroup relations in their ecosystems of society, technology, and policy.

Dr. Pittinsky earned a A.B. in psychology from Yale University, an M.A. in psychology from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Harvard Business School. Prior to joining the Stony Brook faculty he was an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he served as Research Director of the Center for Public Leadership.

Office:  1417 Computer Science

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 Recent Publications

Leaders Who Lust: Leaders Who Lust: Power, Money, Sex, Success, Legitimacy, Legacy by Barbara Kellerman and Todd L. Pittinsky (Cambridge University, 2020)

Among our most consequential leaders are those driven by impulses they cannot completely control - by lust. Lust is not, however, an abstraction, it has definition. Definition that, given the impact of leaders who lust, is essential to extract. This book identifies six types of lust with which leaders are linked: 1. Power: the ceaseless craving to control. 2. Money: the limitless desire to accrue great wealth. 3. Sex: the constant hunt for sexual gratification. 4. Success: the unstoppable need to achieve. 5. Legitimacy: the tireless claim to identity and equity. 6. Legacy: the endless quest to leave a permanent imprint. Each of the core chapters focuses on different lusts and features a cast of characters who bring lust to life. In the real world leaders who lust can and often do have an enduring impact. This book therefore is counterintuitive - it focuses not on moderation, but on immoderation.

Science, Technology, and Society: New Perspectives and Directions  by Todd L. Pittinsky (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

This book gathers inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspectives on the effects that today's advances in science and technology have on issues ranging from government policy-making to how we see the differences between men and women. The chapters investigate how invention and innovation really take place, how science differs from competing forms of knowledge, and how science and technology could contribute more to the greater good of humanity. For instance, should there be legal restrictions on 'immoral inventions'? A key theme that runs throughout the book concerns who is taken into account at each stage and who is affected. The amount of influence users have on technology development and how non-users are factored in are evaluated as the impact of scientific and technological progression on society is investigated, including politics, economy, family life, and ethics.