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 am currently teaching a large intro level course called Knowing Right from Wrong.


I study morality, crime, deviance, and criminal-justice-related attitudes. My current projects focus on the influence of moral intuitions on (1) Americans' attitudes toward the Black Lives Matter movement, (2) Americans' attitudes toward the believability of sexual assault and harassment claims associated with the MeToo movement, (3) people's willingness to report wrongdoing; and (4) people's Covid-19 compliance behavior (i.e., mask wearing and social distancing). My prior work focuses on the relationship between mental disorder and violence/victimization, communities and crime, and risk assessment. I have authored over 50 articles and received awards for both research and teaching.


  • 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).


  • 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