Eric Silver

Eric Silver

Professor of Sociology and Criminology

902 Oswald Tower
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 865-8714

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. Ph.D. Sociology, State University of New York at Albany, 1999



I study the relationship between morality and rule breaking/deviant behavior, and the relationship between mental disorder and violence/victimization. I have authored over 50 articles and received awards for both research and teaching.

Research Projects

Right now I'm studying (1) the influence of students' moral intuitions on their participation in the college drinking scene; (2) the consequences of child sexual abuse for the moral development of the abused child; (3) the effects of moral intuitions on self-harm among young adults; and (4) the effect of moral intuitions on people’s punitive attitudes toward harassment bribes, both monetary and sexual.

Professional Awards and Achievements

  • 2013 Malvin E. and Lea P. Bank Outstanding Teaching Award, College of the Liberal Arts, Penn State University.
  • 2005 Outstanding Tenure Line Teaching Award, College of Liberal Arts, Penn State University.
  • 2002 American Society of Criminology Ruth Shonle Cavan Award for outstanding early career contributions to the discipline of criminology.
  • 2002 Saleem Shah award for early career excellence, sponsored by the American Psychology-Law Society (Division 41 of the American Psychological Association) and the American Society of Forensic Psychology.
  • 2002 American Psychiatric Association Manfred Guttmacher Award for the Oxford University Press book, Rethinking Risk Assessment: The MacArthur Study of Mental Disorder and Violence (Monahan, Steadman, Silver et al., 2001).

Administrative Positions

  • Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, College of the Liberal Arts (2013-2017)
  • Associate Department Head (2009-2013)
  • Director of Graduate Studies (2003-2009)

      Research Interests:


      morality and rule breaking behavior, the relationship between mental disorder and violence/victimization, deviance