Diane F. Halpern is an American psychologist and former president of the American Psychological Association (APA). She is Dean of Social Science at the Minerva Schools at KGI (Keck Graduate Institute) and also the McElwee Family Professor of Psychology at Claremont McKenna College. She is also past-president of the Western Psychological Association, The Society for the Teaching of Psychology, and the Division of General Psychology.
Halpern served on boards and panels at the APA including the Board of Educational Affairs, the Council of Representatives, the Committee on International Relations in Psychology, the Committee on Learning Outcomes, and Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools. She chaired the Panel on Public Policy and APA's National Conference on Undergraduate Education that resulted in the publication Undergraduate Education in Psychology: A Blueprint for the Future of the Discipline.
Along with Keith Millis (Northern Illinois University) and Arthur C. Graesser (University of Memphis), Halpern developed Operation ARA, a computerized game that teaches scientific reasoning. She also developed the Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment (Schuhfried Publishers) that uses multiple response formats which allow test-takers to demonstrate their ability to think about everyday topics using both constructed response and recognition formats.
Halpern received her B.A. from University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. from Temple University. She then received an M.A., from University of Cincinnati, followed by a Ph.D. from that institution in 1979. After teaching for many years at the California State University, San Bernardino, she is currently Professor of Psychology at Claremont McKenna College.
In 1995, Halpern was part of an 11-member APA task force led by Ulric Neisser which published Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns, a report written in response to The Bell Curve. She has also written on cognitive differences between men and women. She suggests a biopsychosocial model offers superior insight into cognitive sex differences than a simple nature-vs-nurture dichotomy. Another topic of her research is risks associated with left-handedness. Halpern has also written in opposition of single-sex schooling, noting that it "lacks scientific support and may exaggerate sexism and gender stereotyping."
Halpern has won awards for her teaching and research, including: