Harris Cooper received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1975. From 1977 to 2003, he was on the faculty at the University of Missouri. In 2003, he moved to Duke University where he is now Hugo L. Blomquist Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience. Dr. Cooper has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, the University of Oregon, and the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City.
Dr. Cooper's research interests follow two paths. The first concerns research synthesis and research methodology. His book, Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis: A Step-by-Step Approach (2017) is in its 5th edition. He is the co-editor of the Handbook of Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis (3rd edition anticipated, 2018). Dr. Cooper and his students have published over 30 research syntheses, many of which appeared in varied prestigious journals including Psychological Bulletin, Review of Educational Research, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Marketing Research and Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. They have published over 40 articles on how to conduct research synthesis and meta-analysis. In 2007, Dr. Cooper was the recipient of the Frederick Mosteller Award for Contributions to Research Synthesis Methodology given by the International Campbell Collaboration. In 2008, he received the Ingram Olkin Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Research Synthesis from the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology.
Dr. Cooper was Editor-in-Chief of the American Psychological Association’s Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology (2012). The Handbook includes over 100 chapters on various aspects of research design and analysis, including both qualitative and quantitative approaches to research. He chaired the first APA committee that developed guidelines for information about research that should be included in manuscripts submitted to APA journals. In 2011, he published a book on the topic, titled Reporting Research in Psychology: How to Meet the New Standards for Journal Articles (2nd edition anticipated, 2019).
Dr. Cooper also studies the application of social and developmental psychology to education policy. In particular, he studies the relationship between time and learning. Most people think about how time relates to learning in terms of time in school (class time, instructional time, time-on-task). Dr. Cooper’s work zooms out from the school day rather than in. He focuses on issues related to (a) the school day and school calendar and (b) academic-related contexts children find themselves in when school is not in session.
Dr. Cooper has studied homework for over 25 years. His synthesis of homework research received the 2007 Outstanding Review of Research Award from the American Educational Research Association. It also provided the evidence base for his guide to policy and practice, titled The Battle over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents (3rd edition, 2007). His research on homework has had an impact on schools nationwide. In addition to working directly with parents, schools and school districts, his work has been highlighted frequently in national media. He has been a guest on NBC Dateline, CBS This Morning, ABC Nightly News and Good Morning America, CNN Headline News, Nickelodeon Nick News, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. On radio, he has appeared on The Larry King Show, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Now Hear This, and the Mitch Ablom Show. Coverage of his work has also appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, Readers´ Digest, the New Yorker and USA Today Weekend, as well as every major metropolitan newspaper. More specialized publications also have provided coverage of his work, including Parents, Parenting, and Child magazines, NEA Today, and The American Teacher.
Dr. Cooper and his students also study the impact of school calendars and calendar variations on students and their families. Their research syntheses on summer learning loss and modified school calendars were published in Review of Educational Research. In 2000, their monograph titled Making the Most of Summer School was published by the Society for Research on Child Development. He and his students have also completed syntheses of research on the effects of full-day kindergarten and extending the school year and the school day (both published in Review of Educational Research, 2010). Most recently, Dr. Cooper and his students turned their attention to research on how well and with what affect students can grade their own and their peers’ academic assignments.
From 1992 to 1998, Dr. Cooper served as an elected member of the Columbia, MO, Board of Education, at that time a school district with a $100 million budget serving 16,000 students. In 1997, he won the American Educational Research Association’s Award for Interpretive Scholarship for his article “Speaking Power to Truth: Reflections of an Educational Researcher after Four Years of School Board Service.” Dr. Cooper served on the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on the Use of Social Science Knowledge in Public Policy (2007-2012).
Dr. Cooper served as editor for the Psychological Bulletin from 2003 through mid-2009. Psychological Bulletin is in the top 5 social science journals in total citations and impact factor. He was the Chair of the APA Council of Editors in 2006 and was a member of the committee that revised the APA Publication Manual (2010). In 2012, Dr. Cooper became the inaugural co-editor of the Archives of Scientific Psychology, APA’s first open methods, collaborative data sharing, open access journal. He remained as editor until 2015.
From 2009 to 2015, Dr. Cooper served as the Chief Editorial Advisor for the APA’s journal publishing program. In this role, he served as a resource to the editors of APA’s 70+ journals as well as the mediator of disputes between editors and authors and between authors and authors. Dr. Cooper’s book, Ethical Choices in Research: Managing Data, Writing Reports, and Publishing Results in the Social Sciences (2016), draws from the experience as well as a review the related scholarship. The book goes beyond the proper treatment of human research subjects to examine frequently neglected ethical issues that arise after data has been collected.
Dr. Cooper served as the Chair of the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University from 2009 to2014. He also served as Chair of the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri and Director of Duke University’s Program in Education.