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Dozier Thornton, PhD
1928 - 2020

Originally from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, Dozier Walter Thornton earned his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. He accepted a position at Michigan State University as Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in 1965, where he worked for 39-years before retiring in 2004. At MSU Dr. Thornton served in many roles, including Professor of Clinical Psychology, Director of the Clinical Psychology Training Program, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, and Associate Dean of the Graduate School, and the Acting Dean of Urban Affairs Programs.

 Dr. Thornton was a Clinical and Community Psychologist, who helped establish one of the first volunteer crisis centers in the United States, called The Listening Ear in 1969. Today, The Listening Ear Intervention Center of East Lansing is the oldest operating crisis line. 


McNitt, P. C., & Thornton, D. W. (1978). Depression and perceived reinforcement: A reconsideration. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 87(1), 137 - 140.

Fleming, B. M., & Thornton, D. W. (1980). Coping skills training as a component in the short-term treatment of depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 48(5), 652–654.

Thornton, D. W., & Weissert, C. S. (Eds.). (2002). Urban policy choices for michigan leaders. Michigan State University Press.

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