William Ickes is a personality and social psychologist who is known primarily for his research on unstructured dyadic interaction. His first major line of research within this tradition concerns the phenomenon of empathic accuracy ("everyday mind reading"). This research is summarized in his 2003 book Everyday Mind Reading: Understanding What Other People Think and Feel. His second major line of research concerns the influence of personal traits and characteristics on people's initial interactions with each other. This research is summarized in his 2009 book Strangers in a Strange Lab: How Personality Shapes Our Initial Encounters with Others.
Ickes received his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology in 1973 at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was trained in the social psychology program. His primary research advisor was Robert Wicklund, although Elliot Aronson was also an important professional mentor during this time. Ickes's first academic job was at the U