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Neil J. Kressel

Neil J. Kressel

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Neil J. Kressel is a social psychologist who has spent more than three decades studying extremism in its various forms. He is also an expert on the American jury system.

Recently, he authored "The Sons of Pigs and Apes": Muslim Antisemitism and the Conspiracy of Silence (Washington, DC: Potomac Books), which was named Book of the Year for 2012 by the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism. Published in November 2012, Kressel’s book charges that many in the West have ignored, minimized, or misunderstood a growing epidemic of virulent Jew-hatred in the Muslim world. He argues that reactions to this bigotry constitute a litmus test for Western liberal values, and that, increasingly, political leaders, journalists, human rights activists, academics and -- above all -- the antiracist Left have been failing this test. "The Sons of Pigs and Apes" presents evidence -- including key scientific research -- that documents the recent explosion of Jew-hatred in Muslim communities across the globe. It also offers a historically and psychologically based analysis of antisemitism's roots in the Islamic world and explains its poorly understood relationship with what is often wrongly dismissed as mere political opposition to the state of Israel. The book has received praise from feminist psychologist Phyllis Chesler, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, the former British Minister for Europe Denis MacShane, German scholar Matthias Kuentzel, Israeli historian Robert S. Wistrich, San Diego State University Professor Khaleel Mohammed, and former White House Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams.

In 2016, Kressel (with Steven K. Baum, Florette Cohen-Abady, and Steven Jacobs) edited Antisemitism in North America: New World, Old Hate (Brill) which included his chapter: "How to Interpret American Poll Data on Jews, Israel and Anti-Semitism. Also in 2016, he coauthored (with Samuel W. Kressel) "Trends in the Psychological Study of Contemporary Antisemitism: Conceptual Issues and Empirical Evidence" in Basic and Applied Social Psychology. Drawing on empirical research, this article concludes that while social scientific aspects of the Holocaust have been studied in some detail, contemporary anti-Jewish hostility has been underestimated and anti-Semitism from the Muslim/Arab world has been largely ignored.

Kressel's other books include Bad Faith: The Danger of Religious Extremism (Prometheus, 2007); Mass Hate: The Global Rise of Genocide and Terror (Basic Books/Westview, rev. ed. 2002), Stack and Sway: The New Science of Jury Consulting (Basic Books/Westview, 2002, co-authored with attorney Dorit F. Kressel), and Political Psychology (Paragon House, 1993). Kressel, who has taught at several universities, holds a doctorate in social psychology from Harvard and was recently a Visiting Associate Professor at the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, housed at Yale University’s Institution for Social and Policy Studies. He currently is Professor of Psychology at William Paterson University, where he directs the Honors Program in the Social Sciences. Kressel has consulted to many organizations and has served on the editorial board of Political Psychology and elsewhere. He has reviewed manuscripts for many journals in social, forensic, and political psychology.

Kressel has also written widely for popular, scholarly, and scientific publications. He has appeared on NPR, MSNBC, Fox News, the History Channel, the Michael Medved Show, the Joan Rivers Show, Voice of America, and many other broadcasts. His work has been widely cited in print and online media, including, the Economist, Reader's Digest, the Washington Post, the New York Post,, and elsewhere.

Primary Interests:

  • Aggression, Conflict, Peace
  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Political Psychology
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping

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Courses Taught:

Neil J. Kressel
Department of Psychology
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, New Jersey 07470
United States of America

  • Phone: (973) 720-3389

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