Biography of Abram Amsel

Abram Amsel was born in Montreal Canada, December 4th, 1922. Amsel received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens University in 1944, his Masters degree from McGill University in 1946, and his doctorate from the University of Iowa in 1948. After graduating, Amsel worked as an assistant professor at Tulane University from 1948-1960, professor at the University of Toronto from 1960-1969, and the University of Texas at Austin from 1969 until he retired in 1999 as Professor Emeritus. Amsel died on August 31, 2006 at the age of 83.

Amsel is best known as a learning theorist and his development and systematic study of frustration theory. Over the course of his academic career he published numerous works, three of which are considered citation classics in the area of learning. His work on frustration is summarized in his book Frustration Theory: An Analysis of Dispositional Learning and Memory. Amsel was also active in numerous professional organizations in various capacities including committee work and governing boards, editor and consulting editor, and reviewer of federal grants for the National Science Academy. He was recognized as a fellow in the American Psychological Society, American Association of Advancement of Science, American Psychological Association, and International Society for Develomental Psychobiology. In addition, Amsel was the recipient of the Howard Crosby Warren Medal for outstanding research in Psychology in 1980, and appointed to National Academy of Sciences in 1992.