2017-18 Colloquium Series - Thomas Joiner (Florida State University).

co-sponsored with
Psychiatry; Student Health; and the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, & Public Policy

Thomas Joiner
Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Psychology
Florida State University

“Why People Die By Suicide”

This recent Psychological Review article (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20438238) summarizes Dr. Joiner's theories and research on the interpersonal theory of suicide and gives a good snapshot of the colloquium talk. Suicidal behavior is a major problem worldwide and, at the same time, has received relatively little empirical attention. This relative lack of empirical attention may be due in part to a relative absence of theory development regarding suicidal behavior. The current article presents the interpersonal theory of suicidal behavior. We propose that the most dangerous form of suicidal desire is caused by the simultaneous presence of two interpersonal constructs-thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness (and hopelessness about these states)-and further that the capability to engage in suicidal behavior is separate from the desire to engage in suicidal behavior. According to the theory, the capability for suicidal behavior emerges, via habituation and opponent processes, in response to repeated exposure to physically painful and/or fear-inducing experiences. In the current article, the theory's hypotheses are more precisely delineated than in previous presentations (Joiner, 2005), with the aim of inviting scientific inquiry and potential falsification of the theory's hypotheses. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved.

Thomas Joiner grew up in Georgia, went to college at Princeton, and received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. He is Distinguished Research Professor and The Bright-Burton Professor in the Department of Psychology at Florida State University. Dr. Joiner’s work is on the psychology, neurobiology, and treatment of suicidal behavior and related conditions. Author of over 385 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Joiner was recently awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Shneidman Award for excellence in suicide research from the American Association of Suicidology, and the Award for Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contributions from the American Psychological Association, as well as research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and various foundations. Dr. Joiner is editor of the American Psychological Association’s Clinician’s Research Digest, editor of the Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior, and he has authored or edited fifteen books, including Why People Die By Suicide, published in 2005 by Harvard University Press. He runs a part-time clinical and consulting practice specializing in suicidal behavior, including legal consultation on suits involving death by suicide. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife and two sons.

Monday, November 13, 2017
3:30 p.m.
Gilmer 190
Coffee/cookies at 3:15pm.
Reception will be held after the talk.

Time and Location: 
3:30pm, Gilmer 190
Monday, November 13, 2017
"Why People Die By Suicide"