David Levy (psychologist)

David Levy (psychologist)
David Levy
Born 1954
Occupation Psychologist
Known for Psychology

David Anthony Levy (born 1954) is an American psychologist, professor, author, stage director and actor. He has provided psychological perspectives on current events in numerous broadcast and publication media, and is co-author of an internationally best-selling textbook on cross-cultural psychology and critical thinking.


Educational background

Levy attended Morningside High School in Inglewood, CA, from 1968–1970, and West High School (Torrance), CA, from 1970-1972. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1978 with a B.A. degree in theater arts, where he was a recipient of the Hugh O'Brian Acting Awards.[1][2] He received a M.A. degree in psychology from Pepperdine University in 1984, a second M.A. in psychology from UCLA in 1987, and a Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA in 1990, where he specialized in social psychology, with minors in psychological assessment and personality psychology.


Levy is Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology, where he has been teaching graduate courses since 1986. In 1991 he served as Visiting Professor of Psychology in the Soviet Union, where he delivered lectures and workshops in psychology and psychotherapy at Leningrad State University (now St. Petersburg), the Leningrad Academy of Science, and the Bekhterev PsychoNeurological Institute. He was honored as a Harriet and Charles Luckman Distinguished Teaching Fellow at Pepperdine (1994–1999), and was a recipient of the Shepard Ivory Franz Distinguished Teaching Award (1989–1990) at UCLA, and the Charles F. Scott Fellowship (1989–1990) at UCLA.

David Levy at Pepperdine University’s commencement ceremonies (2007).


Levy holds professional licenses both in psychology[3] and in marriage and family therapy (MFT).[4] He has worked extensively in private practice and inpatient psychiatric settings, he has supervised clinical interns, and he has utilized his expertise in psychological testing (particularly the MMPI) in forensic cases.

Media consultant

In his featured appearances on over seventy television and radio programs (including CBS,[5] CNN,[6] NBC,[7] CNBC,[8] PBS,[9] NPR,[10] Fox,[11] A&E,[12] Nat Gio,[13] KABC,[14] and E![15]), Levy, a specialist in celebrity psychology, has provided psychological perspectives on current events, and he has examined issues and trends in the mental health field. He has also been quoted extensively in print and online media, most notably providing sport psychology analyses of the Los Angeles Lakers for the Los Angeles Times.[16][17][18][19]


Levy’s numerous theoretical and empirical research studies have been published in scientific journals and presented at professional conferences. His book, Tools of Critical Thinking: Metathoughts for Psychology,[20][21] garnered widespread acclaim and won the endorsements of some of the nation’s most prominent psychologists,[22] including Elizabeth Loftus, Shelley Taylor, Robert Carson, David Myers, and Anne Peplau, with a foreword by Thomas Szasz.

Levy collaborated with Eric Shiraev (George Mason University) on Cross-Cultural Psychology: Critical Thinking and Contemporary Applications,[23] which became an internationally best-selling textbook.[24] He is the author of Family Therapy: History, Theory, and Practice,[25] which was the first textbook on the topic to be available to Russian readers. His Levy Optimism-Pessimism Scale[26] (LOPS) has been utilized internationally in a variety of research contexts.

He is also the author of numerous satirical articles, including "The Emperor’s Postmodern Clothes: A Brief Guide to Deconstructing Academically Fashionable Phrases for the Uninitiated[27]", "How to Be a Good Psychotherapy Patient[28]", "Psychometric Infallibility Realized: The One-Size-Fits-All Psychological Profile[29]", "Stinks and Instincts: An Empirical Investigation of Freud’s Excreta Theory[30]" and "A Proposed Category for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM): Pervasive Labeling Disorder[31]".

Levy co-wrote 60 episodes of the daytime television serial Secret Lives,[32] (produced by Dan Enright of Barry & Enright Productions).

Stage director

Levy co-created and directed the world premiere of Let's Call the Whole Thing Gershwin,[33][34] which marked the first theatrical revue of the music and lyrics of George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. Levy also directed the west coast premiere of William Gibson’s Golda: A Partial Portrait,[35] starring Liz Sheridan. He assisted Steve Allen in directing Seymour Glick is Alive But Sick[36] (with Bill Maher), a satirical musical revue produced and written by Allen.


Levy had a starring role in the children’s television series Wonderbug ,[37] for which he received an Emmy nomination[38] in 1977. In 1992 Levy was a guest star on the series Cheers,[39] where he portrayed the leader of Frasier’s “low self-esteem” therapy group. He accrued numerous other professional acting credits, including: One Day at a Time,[40] The World's Greatest Lover[41] (directed by Gene Wilder), Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women[42] (portraying Irving Berlin), Power,[43] Bobby Vinton’s Rock ‘n Rollers,[44] Little Vic,[45] and The McLean Stevenson Show.[46]


  1. ^ Finalists Selected for 12th Annual O’Brian Awards. (1975, July 31). The Hollywood Reporter, p. 2.
  2. ^ The Winners. (1975, October 10). The Los Angeles Times, Part IV, p. 20.
  3. ^ California license PSY12978
  4. ^ California license MFT21601
  5. ^ Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS This Morning). Featured interview on Dr. Laura Schlesinger and radio therapy (broadcast: 8/6/96).
  6. ^ Cable News Network. Featured interview on “The New Millennium” (broadcast: December, 1999).
  7. ^ National Broadcasting Company (Extra). Featured interview on the impact of the Oklahoma City bombing on children (broadcast: 4/26/95).
  8. ^ Consumer News and Business Channel. Featured interview and live national debate on “The Economics of Depression” (broadcast: 12/2/93).
  9. ^ Public Broadcasting Service. Featured interviews in Psychology: The Study of Human Behavior on the topic: “Conformity, Obedience and Dissent” (broadcast: June, 1990).
  10. ^ National Public Radio. Featured interview on “The Economy and Mental Health” (broadcast: 4/14/09).
  11. ^ FOX News Channel (“Stranger than Fiction”). Featured interview on exploring cross-cultural cult behavior (broadcast: March, 2001).
  12. ^ Arts and Entertainment Network (“Biography”). Featured interview on Dr. Laura Schlesinger (2/1/99).
  13. ^ National Geographic Channel (“Undercover History”). Featured interviews on “The Skyjacker That Got Away: The Legend of D.B. Cooper” (broadcast: 7/26/09).
  14. ^ KABC-TV (Eyewitness News). Featured interview on “L.A. Bashing” (2/21/96).
  15. ^ E!: Entertainment Television. Featured interview on “E! True Hollywood Story: Britney Spears: Fall from Grace” (broadcast: 12/29/07).
  16. ^ Streeter, K. (2007, October 20). In Clinical Terms, the Lakers are Nuts! The Los Angeles Times, pp. D1, D6.
  17. ^ Streeter, K. (2007, December 30). Lakers Find Way to Play Nice. The Los Angeles Times, p. D7.
  18. ^ Streeter, K. (2008, March 14). Role-Playing Is Working Out For Lakers. The Los Angeles Times, p. D4.
  19. ^ Streeter, K. (2008, June 5). Lakers Need to Play the Better Mind Game. The Los Angeles Times, p. S3.
  20. ^ Levy, D. A. (2003). Tools of critical thinking: Metathoughts for psychology. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.
  21. ^ Levy, D. A. (2010). Tools of critical thinking: Metathoughts for psychology (2nd ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.
  22. ^ Levy, D. A. (1997). Tools of critical thinking: Metathoughts for psychology. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. (back cover)
  23. ^ Shiraev, E., & Levy, D. A. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
  24. ^ Amazon.com sales rankings (2007).
  25. ^ Levy, D. A. (1993). Family therapy: History, theory and practice (E. Romanova & S. V. Tsytsarev, Trans.). St. Petersburg, Russia: Anima/Spector Publishers.
  26. ^ Levy, D. A. (1996). Levy optimism-pessimism scale. [On-line]. [CD-ROM]. Abstract from: OVID Technologies File: HaPI-CD Item: 1581.
  27. ^ Levy, D. A. (2008, November/December). The emperor’s postmodern clothes: A brief guide to deconstructing academically fashionable phrases for the uninitiated. Skeptical Inquirer, 32(6), 17.
  28. ^ Levy, D. A. (1991). How to be a good psychotherapy patient. Journal of Polymorphous Perversity, 8(1), 17-19.
  29. ^ Levy, D. A. (1996). Psychometric infallibility realized: The one-size-fits-all psychological profile. In G. C. Ellenbogen (Ed.), More oral sadism and the vegetarian personality (pp. 3-8). New York: Brunner/Mazel.
  30. ^ Levy, D. A., & Erhardt, D. D. (1988). Stinks and instincts: An empirical investigation of Freud’s excreta theory. Journal of Irreproducible Results, 33(5), 8-9.
  31. ^ Levy, D. A. (1992, Winter). A proposed category for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM): Pervasive labeling disorder. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 32(1), 121-125.
  32. ^ “Secret Lives” (1988-1990). Internet Movie Database.
  33. ^ Drake, S. (1979, November 14). Gershwin Cavalcade: ‘S Wonderful. The Los Angeles Times, Part IV, pp. 1, 16.
  34. ^ Pennington, R. (1979, November 14). Stage Review: Let’s Call the Whole Thing Gershwin. The Hollywood Reporter, p. 39.
  35. ^ Drake, S. (1981, May 6). Renewed Artef in ‘Golda.’ The Los Angeles Times, Part VI, pp. 1, 4.
  36. ^ Edwards, B. (1983, March 25). Problems with Equity Could Close ‘Glick.’ Variety, pp. 1, 42.
  37. ^ Krofft, S., & Krofft, M. (Producers). (1976-1978). “Wonderbug” on “The Krofft Supershow.” American Broadcasting Company.
  38. ^ The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; 1976-1977 Emmy Awards nomination for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Children’s Programming (notification: 9/11/76).
  39. ^ Season 10, Episode 13: “Don’t Shoot…I’m Only the Psychiatrist” (first broadcast: 1/2/92). Paramount Television (distributed on National Broadcasting Company).
  40. ^ Season 1, Episode 13: “Father David” (first broadcast: 3/13/76). Allwhit Inc. (distributed on Columbia Broadcasting System).
  41. ^ Wilder, G. (Producer, Director, Writer). (1977, December 18). “The World’s Greatest Lover.” 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation.
  42. ^ Kulik, B. (Producer, Director). (1978, May 21). “Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women.” Columbia Pictures Corporation (distributed on National Broadcasting Company).
  43. ^ Jay, D. (Producer). (1980, January 14). “Power.” Columbia Pictures Television (distributed on National Broadcasting Company).
  44. ^ Krofft, S., & Krofft, M. (Producers). (1978). “Bobby Vinton’s Rock ‘n Rollers.” Columbia Broadcasting System.
  45. ^ Wilson, D. (Producer). (1975, November). “Little Vic.” (distributed on American Broadcasting Company).
  46. ^ Season 1, Episode 8: “Mac and Big Mac” (first broadcast: 2/9/77). (distributed on National Broadcasting Company).

External links

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