Ellen Jane Langer is a professor of psychology at Harvard University. She became the first woman ever to be tenured in psychology at Harvard. Langer has had a significant influence on the positive psychology movement. Along with being known as the mother of positive psychology, her contributions to the study of mindfulness have earned her the moniker of the “mother of mindfulness.”
Langer studies the illusion of control, decision-making, aging, and mindfulness theory. Her most influential work is Counterclockwise, published in 2009, which answers the questions of aging from her extensive research, and increased interest in the particulars of aging across the nation.
Langer is well known for her contributions to the study of mindfulness and of mindless behaviour, with these contributions having provided the basis for many studies focused on individual differences in unconscious behavior and decision making processes in humans. In 1989, she published Mindfulness, her first book, and some have referred to her as the “mother of mindfulness”.