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Paula J. Caplan is a clinical and research psychologist, author of books and plays, playwright, actor, director, and activist. She was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, attended Greenwood Laboratory School, received her A.B. with honors from Radcliffe College of Harvard University, and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from Duke University. Currently, she is an Associate at the Du Bois Institute, Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University. She has been a Fellow at the Women and Public Policy Program of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard; a Lecturer in Harvard's Program on Women, Gender, and Sexuality and in the Psychology Department. She is former Full Professor of Applied Psychology and Head of the Centre for Women's Studies in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and former Lecturer in Women's Studies and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.


Her books include:

  • Children's Learning and Attention Problems (co-authored with Marcel Kinsbourne)
  • Between Women: Lowering the Barriers
  • The Myth of Women's Masochism
  • Don't Blame Mother: Mending the Mother-Daughter Relationship (published in second edition called THE NEW Don't Blame Mother: Mending the Mother-Daughter Relationship)
  • Lifting a Ton of Feathers: A Woman's Guide to Surviving in the Academic World
  • You're Smarter Than They Make You Feel: How the Experts Intimidate Us and What We Can Do About It
  • Thinking Critically About Research on Sex and Gender (written with her son, Jeremy Caplan, and edited by her daughter, Emily Caplan)
  • They Say You're Crazy: How the World's Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who's Normal
  • Sex Differences in Human Cognition (first author, co-authored with M. Crawford, J. Hyde, & J. Richardson)
  • Bias in Psychiatric Diagnosis (first editor, also wrote or co-wrote many of its chapters) 
  • When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home: How All of Us Can Help Veterans (much-revised edition is in paperback)

In regard to her expertise in psychology and in women's studies, as well as her political/social action work, she has appeared on "Donahue" five times, in addition to appearing on "Oprah," "Geraldo," "The Today Show," "Hour Magazine," "CBS Sunday Morning," and "Sally Jesse" and hundreds of other media appearances. She has given hundreds of invited addresses to a wide variety of community and academic groups. She is interviewed frequently for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report, and Psychology Today.

Among her plays, "Shades" (secret wounds that only love can heal) won the Pen & Brush New Plays Contest; "Call Me Crazy" (about the questions "Is anybody normal? And who gets to decide?") won second place in the 1997 Arlene and William Lewis Playwriting Contest for Women and other awards; and "The Test" (based on the poignant, true story of two men on Death Row) was published by Samuel French in its collection of winners of its 2001 Off-Off-Broadway New, Short Plays Competition. Her screenplay for "The Test" was made into a video that won the Alliance for Community Media-New England Film Festival and has been screened in numerous other festivals and various other venues.