Robert Kraft

Professor Emeritus
Department of Psychology

Robert Kraft is a member of Otterbein’s Experts Bureau. To speak with an expert, please contact Director of Communications Jenny Hill at or 614-370-3221.

About Dr. Kraft

Robert Kraft is a professor of cognitive psychology, teaching courses in memory, cognition, decision making, personality, research methods, and the self. After receiving his doctorate, Kraft worked in private industry as a decision analyst in Washington, D.C. and then became a professor of psychology, conducting a 15-year research program on the psychology of film. Following that, Kraft began studying deeply traumatic memory and its aftereffects at the Fortunoff Video Archive at Yale University, which resulted in the critically acclaimed book, Memory Perceived: Recalling the Holocaust. Kraft’s next book, Violent Accounts (NYU Press), analyzes the psychology of violent perpetrators, drawing on testimony given to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He is currently writing a book on memory and the self and a blog for Psychology Today called “Defining Memories.” In 2005, Kraft won the award for Teacher of the Year.

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Areas Of Expertise

  • Violent Perpetrators
  • Self Concepts
  • Emotion
  • Memory
  • Social Influence
  • Language the Self


  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1980
  • B.A., Grinnell College, 1975

Research, Creative, & Professional Work

  • Memory
  • Emotion
  • Social Influence
  • Self Concepts


  • Kraft, R. N. (2015). The good intentions of violent perpetrators: A qualitative analysis of Testimony from South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Peace and Conflict:    Journal of Peace Psychology, 21 (3), 359-377.
  • Kraft, R. N. (2014). Violent Accounts: Understanding the psychology of perpetrators through South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. New York: NYU Press.
  • Kraft, R. N. (2011).  Narratives of perpetrators: Ghastly tales and multiple truths. In D. Journet, B. A. Boehm. & C. E. Britt, (Eds.) Narrative acts: Rhetoric, race and identity, knowledge (pp. 145-161).  New York: Hampton Press.
  • Kraft, R. N. (2009). Regarding the testimony of perpetrators: How truth commissions contribute to the genre of videotaped testimony. Témoigner entre Histoire et Mémoire, 102, 173-192.
  • Kraft, R. N. (2009). The magnitude gap: Revealing differences in recall between victims and perpetrators. In M. Kelley (Ed.), Applied memory (pp. 147-166).  Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science.
  • Kraft, R. N. (2006). Archival memory: Representations of the Holocaust in oral testimony. Poetics Today, 27, 311-330.
  • Kraft, R. N.  (2006). [Review of the book Do Unto Others]. Journal of Hate Studies, 153-157.
  • Kraft, R. N.  (2005). The topography of enduring trauma. [Review of the book Trauma and health: The physical health consequences of extreme stress].  Journal of Health Psychology, 10, 734-736.
  • Kraft, R. N. (2004). Emotional memory in survivors of the Holocaust: A qualitative study of oral testimony. In D. Reisberg & P. Hertel (Eds.), Memory and emotion (pp. 347-389).  New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Kraft, R. N. (2002). Memory Perceived: Recalling the Holocaust. Westport, CT: Praeger.
  • Kraft, R. N. (2000). Essay in “Reflections.” Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimony. Yale University, 7-8.
  • Kraft, R. N.  (1998). Holocaust memory: Persistent recall of traumatic events. In R. R. Hoffman, F. Sherrick, and J. S. Warm (Eds.), Viewing psychology as a whole (pp. 375-398).  Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  • Kraft, R. N.  (1994). [Review of the book Illuminating shadows: The mythic power of film].  Metaphor and Symbolic Activity, 9, 155-159.
  • Kraft, R. N.  (1993). [Review of the book Humor in American literature]. Metaphor and Symbolic Activity, 8, 141-143.
  • Kraft, R. N. (1991).  Light and mind: Understanding the structure of film.  In R. R. Hoffman & D. Palermo (Eds.), Cognition and the symbolic processes: Vol. 3. Applied and ecological perspectives (pp. 351-370).  Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Kraft, R. N. (1988).  Reflections on the silver screen: Cinematic form and memory.  In M. M. Gruneberg, P. Morris, & R. N. Sykes (Eds.), Practical aspects of memory: Current research and issues: Vol. 1.  Memory in everyday life (pp. 549-554).  Chichester, UK: Wiley.
  • Kraft, R. N. (1987). The influence of camera angle on comprehension and retention of pictorial events. Memory & Cognition, 15, 291-307.
  • Kraft, R. N. (1987).  Rules and strategies of visual narratives. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 64, 3-14.
  • Kraft, R. N. (1986).  The role of cutting in the evaluation and retention of film. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 12(1), 155-163.
  • Kraft, R. N., Buede, D. M., & Martin, A. W. (1981). Resource Allocation for NASA’s Space Growth Projects.  Final Report PR 81-3-163.  McLean, VA: Decisions & Designs, Inc.
  • Kraft, R. N., Cantor, P. & Gottdiener, C. (1991).  The coherence of visual narratives. Journal of Communication Research, 18, 601-616.
  • Kraft, R. N., & Green, J. S. (1989). Distance perception as a function of photographic area of view. Perception & Psychophysics, 45, 459-466.
  • Kraft, R. N., & Jenkins, J. J. (1981).  The lag effect with aurally presented passages. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 17(3), 132-134.
  • Kraft, R. N., & Jenkins, J. J. (1977). Memory for lateral orientation of slides in picture stories. Memory & Cognition, 5(4), 397-403.
  • Kraft, R. N., Patterson, J. F., & Mitchell, N. B. (1986). Distance perception in photographic displays of natural settings. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 62, 179-186.
  • Kraft, R. N., Patterson, J. F., & Mitchell, N. B. (1982). Psychological Research on Advanced Terrain Representation: Formatting the Visual Material. Technical Report PR 82-9-331. McLean, VA: Decisions & Designs, Inc.
  • Kreps, J., Kraft, R. N., & Burris, R. (1979).  Interactive computer based exercises in radiology. Published in the Proceedings of the Association for Educational Data Systems 17th Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.: Association for Educational Data Systems.
  • Kraft, R. N. (1981).  A conversation at the gate. Today’s Secretary, 84, 23-31.
  • Affiliations & Awards

    • American Psychological Association
    • Peace Psychology
    • Psychonomic Society
    • Midwestern Psychological Association
    • Eastern Psychological Association
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Phi Kappa Phi
    • Eva O. Miller Fellowship