Harold B. Gerard, 79; Social Psychologist, 30-Year UCLA Teacher

From Staff and Wire Reports

Harold B. Gerard, 79, a UCLA social psychologist who studied such issues as school desegregation and was a pioneer in experimental social psychology, died Jan. 16 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of a cerebral hemorrhage after suffering from kidney failure.

Gerard taught at UCLA from 1962 until his retirement in 1992. Earlier, he had taught and done research at UC Riverside, the State University of New York at Buffalo, New York University and the Bell Telephone Laboratories.

In his desegregation research, Gerard was disappointed to find that expected dramatic improvements in minority student performance did not materialize, partly because of teachers’ expectations of students.


He was coauthor of three important studies: “Series Research in Social Psychology” (1962), “Foundations of Social Psychology” (1967), and “School Desegregation: A Long-Term Study” (1975).

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Gerard served in World War II before completing his undergraduate degree at Brooklyn College and doctorate at the University of Michigan.

When he was 59, Gerard began studies at the Psychoanalytic Center of California in Los Angeles, and later built a clinical psychoanalysis practice. He turned to psychoanalysis to better understand unconscious phenomena.

He was awarded Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, and was twice a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Palo Alto.