Bertram H. Raven received his BA and MA (1948, 1949) in psychology from Ohio State University and his PhD (1953) in social psychology from the University of Michigan. He has been a member of the faculty of the Psychology Department at UCLA since 1956, where he is currently a Professor Emeritus, recalled and still active in research and instruction. At UCLA, he was also director of the Survey Research Center, director of a training program in health psychology, and chair of the Department of Psychology. He has served as a visiting professor and lecturer at the University of Nijmegen, Netherlands; Hebrew University in Jerusalem; London School of Economics; University of Washington; and University of Hawaii; as well as external examiner for the University of the West Indies.
While he was associated with the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the University of Michigan, he worked closely first with Leon Festinger, and later with John R. French, Jr., with whom he developed the Bases of Power analysis with which their names are associated. He has carried out research in various areas of social psychology (group performance: social comparison and self-evaluation; interdependence in group problem-solving; cognitive dissonance in attitude and behavior change). However, his major work has focused on social power. The expanded Power/Interaction Model of Interpersonal Influence has been applied to issues in various sectors including health, education, school consultation, confrontations between historical and political figures, teacher/student, parent/child, husband/wife relationships, and religion as a mechanism of social control.
For his contributions, Professor Raven has received awards and recognition as Fulbright Scholar, NATO Fellow, Guggenheim Fellow, NIMH Fellow, Kurt Lewin Awardee (for relating social psychological research and social action), Los Angeles City Council Citation (for developing the UCLA Upward Bound Project).