Branden Thornhill-Miller

Branden Thornhill-Miller

Sorbonne & University of Oxford

Sorbonne & University of Oxford

Branden Thornhill-Miller is a researcher and a freelance consultant affiliated with the University of Oxford, where he was previously a College Lecturer in Psychology and Director of Studies for Psychology, Philosophy, and Physiology for a number of years. Thornhill-Miller’s speaking, consulting, and research interests include creativity, individual differences (e.g. personality, intelligence, culture, gender, psychometric tests, and test/survey development), the psychology of religion (especially fundamentalism, identity and conflict, mysticism, and meaning-making), behavioral economics (including cognitive biases and decision-making), behavioral change, well-being and “gross national happiness,” leadership, and other aspects of social, political and organizational psychology. More information about him could be found on his website.

Thornhill-Miller believes that every leader needs to be a good psychologist (and have psychologists as advisers), and that psychology, properly pursued, should be re-envisioned as a subdiscipline of many other fields with the potential for improving the full range of human processes and interactions. He is also keenly interested in the application and effects of new technologies. Given our unprecedented technological powers and the range of possibilities becoming available to us, he has argued (e.g. in his course “Psychology for Global Leaders: Understanding Ourselves and Challenges of the Modern World”) that we now need to see human nature as the key to understanding human future in an evolving globalized world.

In addition to his research Thornhill-Miller works as a consultant, individual coach, and organizational advisor in his areas of interest. As vice president of Omni Art Design he has also functioned as a visual artist, creativity consultant, and advisor for large-scale community- and identity-building projects. In the past he has been employed as an innovator for business (e.g. building and programming computers to run new industrial production lines for a Fortune 500 company), as a Legislative Assistant on Capitol Hill, and as Visiting Professor of Literature at Beijing University. Early in his career he was one of twenty-three scholars from different disciplines and around the world invited by the Foundation for the Future to discuss the problems and possibilities facing humanity’s long-term survival.

Thornhill-Miller received his bachelor’s degree in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale University, where he was vice president of the student government, coordinator of the Yale Club in Washington, D.C., and worked independently with Harold Bloom in literature, with Robert Dahl and Ian Shapiro in Political Science, and Jonathan Feinstein in economics. While doing his Masters of Divinity focusing on world religions at Harvard, he became Director of the Inter-religious Dialogue Program for the Boston Theological Institute (a consortium of nine schools, including Harvard, Boston University and Boston College). He was selected to be a Fulbright Scholar from the US, but went as a Harvard Knox Fellow to pursue doctoral studies in psychology at the University of Oxford.