Phone: (312) 654-1543


Professional Background

    I was educated in Britain, gaining my Bachelor's degree from the University of Edinburgh, where I majored in philosophy, and then doing my Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of London's Imperial College of Science and Technology. My Ph.D. dissertation was concerned with graphical interface design. In 1973, I joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). There, with appointments in Education and in Psychology, I started to investigate questions having to do with knowledge representation and language understanding, concentrating in particular on the communicative functions of, and the processes involved in the production and comprehension of nonliteral (especially metaphorical) uses of language. My approach to research problems is strongly interdisciplinary, as is evident from the diverse perspectives on metaphor represented in (the second edition, 1993 of) my edited book, Metaphor and Thought.

    In 1981 I started a long collaboration with Gerald Clore (now at the University of Virginia) working on the relationship between emotion and cognition. This culminated in the publication of our 1988 book (with Allan Collins), The Cognitive Structure of Emotions, which proposed a computationally tractable model of the cognitive basis of emotion elicitation and intensity. This model, which in the affective computing community has come to be known as the OCC model, is now one of the standard models for emotion modeling used in that community. I moved to Northwestern University in 1989. There, while maintaining my interest in research on metaphor, I became increasingly interested in emotion research as it relates to various aspects of Artificial Intelligence, including the design of intelligent agents, as well as in exploring the relationship between affect, cognition, motivation, behavior and personality--explorations that I undertook primarily in collaboration with my colleague Bill Revelle.

Singapore Project

    In 2006 I embarked on a major new research initiative in Singapore under the auspices of the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore’s national agency for promoting research in science and technology. Located in the Institute for High Performance Computing (IHPC), the goal was to build a group with expertise in social cognitive science. In particular, we sought to develop models of plausible, contextually appropriate, social interaction. To this end, we assembled an interdisciplinary team of researchers with backgrounds in areas such as social and cognitive psychology, computational linguistics, decision theory, cognitive architectures and multi-agent systems, and social robotics. Having accomplished our main goal, my involvement in this project terminated in 2013.

Downloadable Publications

Ortony, A. (1971). A system for stereo viewing. Computer Journal, 14, 140-144. Reprinted in Proceedings of IEE conference on displays, IEE Conference Publication No. 80, 1971, and in The best computer papers of 1971. Princeton, NJ: Auerbach Publishers, Inc., 1972.

Ortony, A. (1975). Why metaphors are necessary and not just nice. Educational Theory, 25, 45-53. Reprinted in M. J. Ganon, (Ed.) Cultural metaphors: Readings, research translations, and commentary. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage Publications.

Anderson, R. C., & Ortony, A. (1975). On putting apples into bottles: A problem of polysemy. Cognitive Psychology, 7, 167-180.

Ortony, A. (1975). How episodic is semantic memory? In Theoretical issues in natural language processing: An interdisciplinary workshop in computational linguistics, psychology, linguistics, and artificial intelligence. Cambridge, MA.

Ortony, A. (1976). On the nature and value of metaphor: A reply to my critics. Educational Theory, 26, 395-398.

Halff, H. M., Ortony, A., & Anderson, R. C. (1976). A context-sensitive representation of word meanings. Memory & Cognition, 4, 378-383.

Trollip, S., & Ortony, A. (1977). Real time simulation in computer assisted instruction. Instructional Science, 6, 135-149.

Ortony, A., & Anderson, R. C. (1977). Definite descriptions and semantic memory. Cognitive Science, 1, 74-83.

Rumelhart, D. E., & Ortony, A. (1977). The representation of knowledge in memory. In R. C. Anderson, R. J. Spiro & W. E. Montague (Eds.), Schooling and the acquisition of knowledge. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Ortony, A. (1978). Remembering, understanding, and representation. Cognitive Science, 2, 53-69.

Ortony, A., Reynolds, R. E. & Arter, J. A. (1978). Metaphor: Theoretical and empirical research. Psychological Bulletin, 85, 919-943.

Ortony, A., Schallert, D. L., Reynolds, R. E. & Antos, S. J. (1978). Interpreting metaphors and idioms: Some effects of context on comprehension.Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 17, 465-477.

Ortony, A. (1979). Beyond literal similarity. Psychological Review, 86, 161-180. Translated and reprinted in C. Cacciari (Ed.) (1991), Teorie della metafora, Milan, Italy: Rafaello Cortina Editore.

Reynolds, R. E. & Ortony, A. (1980). Some issues in the measurement of children's comprehension of metaphorical language. Child Development, 51, 1110-1119.

Ortony, A. & Clore, G L. (1981). Disentangling the affective lexicon. In Proceedings of the third annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Berkeley, CA.

Vosniadou, S. & Ortony, A. (1983). The emergence of the literal-metaphorical-anomalous distinction in young children. Child Development, 54, 154-161.

Ortony, A., Turner, T. J. & Antos, S. J. (1983). A puzzle about affect for recognition memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 9, 725-729.

Vosniadou, S., Ortony, A., Reynolds, R. E. & Wilson, P. T. (1984). Sources of difficulty in children's understanding of metaphorical language. Child Development, 55, 1588-1606. Reprinted in M. B. Franklin & S. S. Barten (Eds.) (1988), Child Language: A Reader. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Ortony, A., Vondruska, R. J., Foss, M. A. & Jones, L. E. (1985). Salience, similes, and the asymmetry of similarity. Journal of Memory and Language, 24, 569-594.

Ortony, A. (1987). Cognitive development and the language of mental states. Discourse Processes, 10, 193-199.

Ortony, A., Clore, G. L. & Foss, M. A. (1987). The referential structure of the affective lexicon. Cognitive Science, 11, 341-364.

Clore G. L., Ortony, A. & Foss, M. A. (1987). The psychological foundations of the affective lexicon. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 751-766.

Fainsilber, L. & Ortony, A. (1987). Metaphor production in the description of emotional states. Metaphor and Symbolic Activity, 2, 239-250.

Ortony, A. & Partridge, D. (1987). Surprisingness and expectation failure: What's the difference? In Proceedings of the tenth international joint conference on artificial intelligence. Milan, Italy.

Ortony, A. (1987). Is guilt an emotion? Cognition & Emotion, 1, 283-298.

Ortony, A. (1988). Are emotion metaphors conceptual or lexical? Cognition & Emotion, 2, 95-103.

Medin, D. L. & Ortony, A. (1989). Psychological Essentialism. In S. Vosniadou & A. Ortony (Eds.), Similarity and analogical reasoning. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Ortony, A. & Clore, G. L. (1989). Emotions, moods, and conscious awareness. Cognition & Emotion, 3, 125-137.

Ortony, A. & Turner, T. J. (1990). What's basic about basic emotions? Psychological Review, 97, 315-331.

Ortony, A. (1991). Value and emotion. In W. Kessen, A. Ortony, & F. Craik (Eds.) Memories, thoughts, and emotions: Essays in honor of George Mandler. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Clore, G. L. & Ortony, A. (1991). What more is there to emotion concepts than prototypes? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 48-50.

Frijda, N. H., Ortony, A., Sonnemans, J. & Clore, G. L. (1992). The complexity of intensity: Issues concerning the structure of emotion intensity. In M. Clark (Ed.), Emotion: Review of personality and social psychology, 13. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Turner, T. J. & Ortony, A. (1992). Basic emotions: Can conflicting criteria converge? Psychological Review, 99, 566-571.

O'Rorke, P. & Ortony, A. (1994). Explaining emotions. Cognitive Science, 18, 283-323.

Gilboa, E. & Ortony, A. (1998). Hours of happiness and days of despair: A study of valence asymmetry. In Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the International Society for Research on Emotions, Wurtzburg, Germany, (pp. 165-169).

Clore, G. L. & Ortony, A. (2000). Cognition in emotion: Always, sometimes, or never? In L. Nadel, R. Lane & G. L. Ahern (Eds). The cognitive neuroscience of emotion. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ortony, A. (2003). On making believable emotional agents believable. In R. Trappl, P. Petta & S. Payr (Eds.), Emotions in humans and artifacts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Norman, D.A., Ortony, A., & Russell, D.M. (2003). Affect and machine design: Lessons for the development of autonomous machines. IBM Systems Journal, 42, 38-44.

Ortony, A., Norman, D. A. & Revelle, W. (2005). Affect and proto-affect in effective functioning.  In J.M. Fellous & M.A. Arbib (eds.), Who needs emotions: The brain meets the robot. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ortony, A., Revelle, W. & Zinbarg, R. (2007). Why Emotional Intelligence needs a fluid component. In G. Matthews, M. Zeidner & R. D. Roberts (Eds.). The Science of Emotional Intelligence. New York: Oxford University Press.

Fua, K., Horswill, I., Ortony, A. & Revelle, W. (2009). Reinforcement sensitivity theory and cognitive architectures. In Technical Report of the Symposium on Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures, AAAI Fall Symposium Series, Arlington, VA, November 5-7.

Pautler, D., Koenig, B., Quek, B-K. & Ortony, A. (2011). Using modified incremental chart parsing to ascribe intentions to animated geometric figures. Behavior Research Methods, 43(3), 643-665.

Swarat, S., Ortony, A., & Revelle, W. (2012).  Activity matters: Understanding student interest in school science.  Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49(4), 515-537.

Quek, B-K & Ortony, A. (2012). Assessing implicit attitudes: What can be learned from simulations? Social Cognition, 30(5), 610-630.

Gupta, S., Sakamoto, K. & Ortony, A. (2013). Telling it like it isn't: A comprehensive approach to analyzing verbal deception. In F. Paglieri, L. Tummolini, R. Falcone & M. Miceli (Eds.), The goals of cognition: Festschrift for Cristiano Castelfranchi. London, College Publications.

Clore, G. L. & Ortony, A. (2013). Psychological construction in the OCC model of emotion. Emotion Review, 5, 335-343.

Yang, Y., Falcao, H., Delicado, N. & Ortony, A. (2014). Reducing mistrust in agent-human negotiations. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 29(2), 36-43.

Ortony, A. & Clore, G.L. (2015). Can an appraisal model be compatible with psychological constructionism? In L. F. Barrett & J. R. Russell (Eds.) The Psychological Construction of Emotion. New York: Guilford Press.

Full Curriculum Vitae


    My mother, from Prague, and my father, from a small town in western Slovakia (center of map), met, married, and produced me, in England during WWII. After the war we all moved to Slovakia, but the political climate there caused my parents to send me back to England after a little over a year, and a few months later they joined me, and took up permanent residence in England. Thus, I grew up in England, in a dull provincial city, Peterborough, 75 miles north of London.

    I moved to the United States in 1973, taking a position at UIUC where I stayed for 17 years, and where I raised my wonderful children. Alison, my oldest daughter, graduated from UIUC with a major in Mathematics and now teaches mathematics at a charter school in Chicago. Her brother, Jacob, a serious bicyclist, works in information technology, and Julia, the youngest, is an Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. Meanwhile, together with my wonderful neuroscientist wife, Jelena Radulovic, I live in a penthouse apartment (see red arrow tip) of a magnificent high-rise in downtown Chicago from which I can see three states (Indiana, Michigan, and of course, Illinois) and from which I have a spectacular view overlooking navy pier and Lake Michigan.

    My one and only sibling—my dear sister, Claudia—lives with her husband in the English countryside. She and I were brought up on classical music, but she, unlike me, was very successful as a performer, playing the violin in professional orchestras. Nevertheless, I, although not a musician at all, am a great lover of classical music, and especially of 19th century opera. I'm a regular subscriber to the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Many years ago I purchased a piano and started taking piano lessons. I figured that if nothing else, maybe I'd learn something about learning. What I learned is that learning can be hard, and alas, I made no progress with the piano! In spite of my lack of musical knowledge, I have written the libretto for an opera with an Israeli composer friend of mine. Although my part is now finished, but some music remains to be written. Apart from my love of music, I'm mildly addicted to watching professional and college sports (usually football and basketball, and usually on TV).



        * Psychology Department, Northwestern University

        * International Society for Research on Emotions

Last updated: July, 2017.

Andrew Ortony

Professor Emeritus

Northwestern University