Paul Rozin was born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended the University of Chicago,receiving an A.B in 1956, and received a PhD in both Biology and Psychology from Harvard, in 1961. His thesis research was sponsored by Jean Mayer. He spent two subsequent years working with Jean Mayer as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. Since then, he has been a member of the Psychology Department at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is currently Professor of Psychology. Past scholarly interests included food selection in animals, the acquisition of fundamental reading skills, and the neuropsychology of amnesia. Over the last 25 years, the major focus of his research has been human food choice, considered from biological, psychological and anthropological perspectives. During this period, he has studied the psychological significance of flavorings placed on foods in different cuisines, the cultural evolution of cuisine, the development of food aversions, the development of food preferences, family influences in preference development, body image, the acquisition of liking for chili pepper, chocolate craving, and attitudes to meat, Most recently, major foci of attention have been the emotion of disgust, the entry of food issues (e.g., meat, fat) into the moral domain in modern American culture, French-American differences in the food domain, attitudes to recycled water, the psychology of music, and the nature of remembered pleasure. Some of the recent research is carried out in France, Japan and India, as well as the United States. In the last few years, he has also investigated forgiveness, aversions to ethnic groups, and ethnic identity.
Paul Rozin is a member of the Society of Experimental Psychologists, has twice been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, was a visiting Scholar for Phi Beta Kappa, and a Visiting Scholar for one year at the Russell Sage Foundation. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award for 2007. He was an editor of the journal, Appetite, for ten years.