Professor Sherman received a B.A. from Harvard in 1963 (Biology) and a Ph.D. from Michigan in 1967 (Social Psychology). He joined the I.U. faculty in 1967 and became a Chancellor's Professor in 2001.
Professor Sherman's research interests are in the area of social cognition. He has studied how impressions are formed of individuals and of groups, and how group stereotypes develop and are maintained. He has developed a taxonomy of different types of groups and has identified the functions that these different types of groups serve for individual members. In addition, he has developed a model of preference that predicts what alternative an individual will choose from a set of alternatives, how difficult the choice decision will be, and how much satisfaction and post-decision regret will follow the choice. Professor Sherman has also been director of a 20 year longitudinal research project that studies cigarette smoking. In particular, this research is designed to predict transitions in smoking behavior and to understand the intergenerational transmission of smoking behaviors and beliefs. These research projects have been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Mental Health (a MERIT award), and Professor Sherman received a Senior Scientist Award from NIH in 1999.
He has served on two grant study sections for the NIH and served as editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology from 1984-1990. From 1999-2001, he served as President of the Bloomington Faculty Council and as co-secretary of the I.U. University Faculty Council.
In 2020, Sherman was presented the Bicentennial Medal for his distinguished service to Indiana University.