Adrian Furnham was educated at the London School of Economics where he obtained a distinction in an MSc Econ and at Oxford University where he completed a doctorate (DPhil) in 1981. He has subsequently earned a DSc (1991) and DLitt (1995) degree. Previously a lecturer in psychology at Pembroke College, Oxford, he has been professor of psychology at University College London since 1992. He has lectured widely abroad and held scholarships and visiting professorships at, among others, the University of New South Wales, the University of the West Indies, the University of Hong Kong and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has also been a visiting professor of management at Henley Management College and been made adjunct professor of management at the Norwegian School of Management (2009)
Furnham has written more than 1,000 scientific papers and 80 books including The Protestant Work Ethic (1990), The Psychology of Behaviour at Work (1997), The Incompetent Manager (2003), Management Mumbo-Jumbo (2006) The Elephant in the Boardroom: The Psychology of Leadership Derailment (2010) Leadership: everything you want to know (2011) People Management in a Downturn (2011) The Talented Manager (2012) The Engaging Manager (2012) High Potential (2014) The New Psychology of Money (2014). Many have been translated into foreign languages including Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Furnham is a fellow of the British Psychological Society and is on the editorial board of a number of international journals, as well as the past elected president of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences. He is also a founder director of Applied Behavioural Research Associates (ABRA), a psychological consultancy. He has been a consultant to over 30 major international companies, with particular interests in top team development, management change, performance management systems, psychometric testing and leadership derailment. He speaks regularly at academic and business conferences and is noted for his motivational speaking. Since 2007 he has been nominated by HR magazine as one of the 20 Most Influential People in HR.
Like Noel Coward, he believes work is more fun than fun and considers himself to be a well-adjusted workaholic. He rides a bicycle to work (as he has always done) very early in the morning and does not have a mobile phone. Furnham enjoys writing popular articles, travelling to exotic countries, consulting on real-life problems, arguing at dinner parties and going to the theatre. He hopes never to retire.