Professor Mario Mikulincer was born in 1957 in Santa Fe, Argentina. In 1976, Mikulincer came to Israel and began his studies in psychology at Bar Ilan University, where he completed three academic degrees. In 1985 he earned his doctorate, with distinction. After completing his PhD degree, Mikulincer launched his academic career in the Psychology Department at Bar-Ilan University, achieving promotion from Assistant Professor to Full Professor in less than seven years. This made him the youngest Professor of Psychology in any Israeli University
From 1985, he published more than 300 articles and book chapters, two authored books (Human learned helplessness, 1994; Attachment in adulthood, 2007), and three edited book (Dynamics of romantic love, 2006; Prosocial motives, emotions, and behavior, 2009; Human aggression and violence, 2010). His work concerned with personality and social psychology, tapping issues related to learned helplessness, interpersonal and attachment processes, affect regulation, and coping with trauma and the horrors of death. In particular, more than 30 of his articles have been published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (JPSP), the most competitive journal in these fields. He has supervised the research of more than 150 students in their advanced studies and is regularly invited to lecture at international conferences and to author sections of prominent books. Additionally, Mikulincer was chosen as a “fellow” in the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the Association for Psychological Science. In the last years, he is a member of the editorial board for six leading journals in the field. Between 2003 and 2009, he acted as an associate editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Between 2005 and 2009, he also acted as an associated editor for Personal Relationships
In 2010, he was elected as chief editor of the Journal of Social and personal Relationships for a period of 5 years. In 2004, he was awarded with the E.M.E.T. Prize (www.emetprize.org.il) in Social Science for his contribution to psychology. In 2006, he was awarded with the Berscheid-Hatfield Award for Distinguished Mid-Career Achievement from the International Association for Relationship Research
Between 1995 and 1999, Mikulincer headed the Psychology department at Bar Ilan University. Between 2001 and 2004, he served as chairman of the interdisciplinary studies unit, and between 2004 and 2006 he served as Dean of Bar-Ilan University’s Regional Colleges. From October 2007, he is the Dean of the School of Psychology, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya. In 1996 he founded, along with the late Prof. Victor Florian, the Peleg-Bilig Center for the Study of Family Well-Being, and has served as the Center’s chairman since 2002. Additionally, he was among the founders of the Gonda Brain Research Center at Bar Ilan University
In the last five years, Mikulincer’s main scientific interest and focus of research activities is the understanding and analysis of attachment-related processes in adulthood. His work has deepened and enriched our understanding of the psychological meanings and functions of interpersonal relationships. Furthermore, his work provides a bridge between different theoretical frameworks – psychodynamic approaches, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, and personality and social psychology – and research traditions such as cognitive-experimental methods, self-report measures, and qualitative analyses
In his studies, Mikulincer transforms the study of attachment processes in adulthood from a narrow framework for explaining romantic relationships to a broader framework that can explain a wide range of human emotions, cognitions, and behaviors in both the interpersonal and intrapersonal domains. Specifically, his work reveals that attachment processes are highly relevant for many psychological processes, such as coping with stress, maintaining mental health, managing the terror of death, and activation of other behavioral systems (e.g., exploration, affiliation), as well as societal phenomena (e.g., out-group hostility, prosocial behavior). His work also moved attachment research from an emphasis on correlates of individual differences in attachment style to the experimental manipulation of attachment-related mental representations. In this way, he refined and enriched Bowlby’s concept of attachment working models, revealing these models to be a hierarchical network of precisely specifiable general and specific cognitive representations of self and others. His work also made a pioneering contribution to understanding the mental activation of the “attachment behavioral system” in adulthood – a concept that before Mikulincer’s work was only a theoretical abstraction.