ANN ARBOR" John R. P. French Jr., professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Michigan, died Oct. 14 at Glacier Hills Nursing Center. He was 82.
One of the original program directors at the Research Center for Group Dynamics when it moved to the U-M Institute for Social Research in 1947, French was one of the nation's top experts in training social psychologists in experimental research. His own doctoral dissertation research on the cohesion of groups under distress and in danger is still cited widely.
" John French was an enormously valued member of the Center from the time of its founding," says Richard Nisbett, director of the Research Center for Group Dynamics. " His contribution to the Center, the Institute for Social Research, and the field of social psychology will be long remembered."
French held many honors including the presidency of the Society of Psychological Study of Social Issues, the National Institute for Mental Health's Research Career Award, and a Fulbright Fellowship.
A native of Boston, French did his undergraduate work at Antioch College in Ohio and Black Mountain College in North Carolina. He received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1940.
In 1937 he married Sophia L. Hunt, who survives him. Other survivors include two children, Rebecca Kennedy of Westford, Vt., John R. P. French III of Ann Arbor, and three grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust, Orland, Maine 04472, the U-M Institute for Social Research, or the Glacier Hills Residents Fund.