Dr. Aronfreed, Psychology

Dr. Justin M. Aronfreed, professor emeritus of psychology in the University of Pennsylvnia's School of Arts & Sciences, passed away August 18, 2012, at age 82.

A member of the faculty for over 50 years, Dr. Aronfreed was appointed in 1959 as an assistant professor, rising through the ranks to professor until his retirement as emeritus professor in 1999.

Prior to coming to Penn, Dr. Aronfreed was an instructor and research associate at the Institute of Human Relations at Yale University and then a senior research fellow at Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute.

His book, Conduct and Conscience, published in 1968, was termed "one of the most exciting social psychological works of the decade" in the American Sociological Review. A landmark work, it addressed with "scientific precision and rigor" deep questions concerning the development of the psychological mechanisms that account for character, and that explain empathy and altruism.

Dr. Aronfreed was the recipient of numerous awards including one from the National Science Foundation for research on the moral development and the development of conscience in children. His students voted him as "the most popular teacher" for his freshman seminar on human development and intellectual foundations. For many decades, Dr. Aronfreed was the principal teacher at Penn of the fundamental introductory course in developmental psychology. He also had a profound influence on graduate students in Developmental Psychology, many of whom have gone on to become the leaders in this field.

His many professional activities included the American Psychological Association, the Eastern Psychological Association, the Society for the Study of Psychological Issues, the Society for Research and Child Development, the American Association of University Professors, the National Society for the Study of Education and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Born in Philadelphia, Dr. Aronfreed received his AB in psychology from Penn in 1951 and his PhD in 1956 from the University of Michigan.

He is survived by his wife, Cecilia; his children, Leslie Martin, Dr. Jessica Aronfreed, Eric Aronfreed, Karen Bompadre, Andrea Finamore and Joan Roseberry; and grandchildren, Roland Sealy, James Bompadre, Amanda Bompadre, Kate Roseberry and Owen Roseberry.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, September 30 at the Conservatory at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, from 1-3 p.m.