Joseph Campos

Research Expertise and Interest

social-emotional development in infancy, emotional communication, perception of emotion, relation of motor development to cognitive and social and emotional development

Research Description

Professor Campos was one of a number of Ph.D.’s in the late 1960s who consisted of a cadre of investigators using for the first time experimental methods to understand developmental changes in the human infant. This work was designed to complement prior work of pediatricians developing milestones in the infant’s month-by-month development. His work centered on the investigation of the development of emotion, especially fear, anger, attachment, and the perceptual bases of emotional changes. His research on these topics was funded by Federal and Foundation grants every year from 1969 to 2015. This work consisted of a compendium of research so broad and thorough that it led to his being awarded in 2020 the Lifetime Scientific Contribution Award for research of distinction from the International Congress of Infant Studies. His work not only helped to initiate the experimental study of the human infant but also extended to cross-national and interdisciplinary investigations. Starting in 1980 and continuing to this day, he has collaborated with Japanese investigators in Sapporo and Kyoto. He also opened up the study of the human infant in China in 1983 continuing until the year 2000. In 1991, he was awarded the title distinguished Guest Professor at Beijing Normal University. His interest in emotions led to his being a Co-Founder and First-President of the International Society for Research on Emotions. This society brought together leading investigators on emotion throughout the world regardless of discipline be it psychology, neuroscience, economics, etc. The impact of this work, funded by NIMH has been exceptionally broad—breadth evident in the publication in Nature: Human Behavior April 2021 documenting the change in the role of emotion in a variety of disciplines within the U.S.A. and elsewhere. In 1989, the University of California, Berkeley selected him as director of its famed Institute of Human Development, and that University’s Psychology Department elected him to the rank of Full-Professor. Professor Campos was also centrally involved in reviewing proposals for funding grant research, a role he played between 1975 and 2012. He also became the behavioral science representative overseeing the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) from 1988 to 1995. From 1996 to 2001, he was appointed one of the two behavioral science representatives to the 13-person national advisory board of the NICHD. This board was the supervisory policy agency evaluating proposals for directions of study by the NICHD. Professor Campos was also quite well-received as a teacher and was the recipient of the distinguished teaching award at the University of Denver in 1986 and the same award from the University of Illinois at Urbana-champaign in 1989. He retired in 2017 as the result of encroaching total blindness.

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