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2013 Award Citations
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Jack Block Award
Donald T. Campbell Award
Career Contribution Awards
Robert B. Cialdini Award
Carol and Ed Diener Award in Personality Psychology
Carol and Ed Diener Award in Social Psychology
Distinguished Scholar Award
Media Book Prize for the Promotion of Social and Personality Science
Methodological Innovation Award
SPSP Awards for Service on Behalf of Personality and Social Psychology
SPSP Awards for Distinguished Service to the Society
The Daniel M. Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize 






Jack Block Award

Robert R. ("Jeff”) McCrae

Robert R. ("Jeff”) McCrae is one of the most influential personality psychologists in the world today. With his colleague Paul T. Costa, Jr., McCrae developed an especially persuasive framework for conceptualizing the broad factors that comprise the Big Five model of personality traits, along with the specific content facets that make up each of the five. McCrae’s and Costa’s early landmark findings from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging showed that individual differences in personality traits are stable over time and predictive of important life outcomes such as health and coping, leading to a strong resurgence of the entire field of personality psychology in the 1980s and the establishment of the five-factor model as the dominant paradigm for personality. Employing their expertise in psychometrics and statistical analysis, McCrae and Costa designed and validated highly influential self-report inventories for measuring individual differences in personality traits, such as the NEO-PI-R and the NEO-FFI, and they have carefully examined the relations between self-reports and alterative assessments of traits, such as peer ratings. McCrae has been at the forefront in the study of adult personality development, and he has led large collaborations of investigators from many different nations to examine the cross-cultural manifestations and implications of the Big Five. He has also done illuminating theoretical work on the trait of openness to experience. In more recent years, Jeff McCrae has written provocative papers on the future of personality psychology for the 21stcentury, has begun to explore the molecular genetics of personality dispositions, and has gone so far as to extend the five-factor model of personality traits to the study of history and literary fiction.


Donald T. Campbell Award

Timothy DeCamp Wilson

Timothy DeCamp Wilson has made social psychology a more interesting and more important field. He is a brilliant experimentalist and insightful theorist whose research examines the many ways in which people are mistaken about themselves—mistaken about the causes of their past actions, about the unitary nature of their present attitudes, about the duration of their future happiness. Although his contributions are wide-ranging—from reasons analysis to unconscious attitudes to affective forecasting—each explores the limits of self-insight, and explains how and why we are strangers to ourselves. In addition to being an innovative and influential scientist, Wilson is a citizen-activist who "gives psychology away” in newspapers, textbooks, and trade books, and who works tirelessly to ensure that public policy is informed by scientific fact. Wilson is the Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, an Elected Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an Elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Career Contribution Award

C. Daniel Batson

C. Daniel Batson, Professor Emeritus at the University of Kansas, received his Ph.D. in psychology from Princeton University as well as a Ph.D. in theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. Professor Batson spent his entire career at the University of Kansas, and after retirement from Kansas in 2008 now holds a position in the psychology department at the University of Tennessee. Professor Batson’s interests focus on topics that bridge concerns in psychology and religion, including altruism, empathy, compassion, and the social psychology of religion.

Professor Batson has published four books and more than 150 scholarly articles and chapters. He is perhaps best known as a leading proponent for the existence of pure or selfless altruism. Although acknowledging that people sometimes help others for selfish reasons, Batson maintains that some instances of prosocial behavior reflect pure altruism in which people help out of a genuine concern for others and with no benefits for themselves. The long-standing egoism-altruism debate between Batson and Robert Cialdini ranks among the most influential and generative exchanges in social psychology. Professor Batson also co-authored with John Darley a frequently-cited study of bystander intervention in which seminary students were less likely to help a confederate in distress when they were in a hurry, even when they were on their way to deliver a talk on the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Batson's contributions to the psychology of religion include his extension of Gordon Allport’s distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic religious orientations to include a form of religiosity that he calls quest. Quest involves the degree to which a person’s religion involves an ongoing, open-ended investigation of existential questions, and Professor Batson’s work shows that this orientation relates to religious behavior differently than other forms of religiosity. He has also written extensively about religious experiences and proposed an influential four-stage model of religious experience with Patricia Schoenrade and Larry Ventis. For his contributions to understanding the social and psychological aspects of religious experience, Batson received the William James Award from Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (APA Division 36).


 Career Contribution Award

James Sidanius

Jim Sidanius is Professor of Psychology and African American Studies at Harvard University. Professor Sidanius received his Ph.D. at the University of Stockholm, Sweden in 1977. The title of his Dissertation was, "Cognitive functioning and socio-political ideology: studies in political psychology.” Prior to joining the faculty at Harvard in 2006, he taught at several universities in the United States and Europe, including the University of Stockholm, the University of Texas at Austin, Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, Princeton University, and University of California at Los Angeles.

Professor Sidanius has authored over 150 scientific papers, and his most important theoretical contribution to date is the development of social dominance theory, summarized in his book (in collaboration with Felicia Pratto), Social Dominance: An Intergroup Theory of Social Hierarchy and Oppression (1999). Social dominance theory notably explains the acceptance of group-based social hierarchy by both the dominant and oppressed groups. Long before others were convinced, Jim Sidanius understood the inevitability and the significance of hierarchy in structuring society, social relations and psychological functioning. He pioneered the study of the widely shared cultural ideologies (i.e., legitimizing myths) that provide the moral and intellectual justification for group—based hierarchies. Research in his lab also demonstrated that beliefs about group-based social dominance represent a measurable individual difference dimension (Social Dominance Orientation) that relates to a variety of social attitudes including racism, sexism, homophobia, and is related to and independent of political-economic conservatism. In addition to his ground-breaking work on the interface between political ideology and cognitive functioning, his studies have contributed to the understanding of group conflict, institutional discrimination and the evolutionary psychology of intergroup prejudice.

Among his other most significant publications are Racialized Politics: Values Ideology and Prejudice in American Public Opinion (2000) and The Diversity Challenge: Social Identity and Intergroup Relations on the College Campus (2010). Professor Sidanius was the recipient of the 2006 Harold Lasswell Award for "Distinguished Scientific Contribution in the Field of Political Psychology” awarded by the International Society of Political Psychology, and in 2007 he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Robert B. Cialdini Award


 Judith Harackiewicz, Christopher Rozek, Chris Hulleman, and Janet Hyde

for their 2012 publication

"Helping parents to motivate adolescents in mathematics and science: An experimental test of a utility-value intervention" (Psychological Science, volume23)

The Robert B. Cialdini Award is designated for the publication that best explicates social psychological phenomena principally through the use of field research methods and settings and that thereby demonstrates the relevance of the discipline to communities outside of academic social psychology. This year's Cialdini Award recipient, Harackiewicz, Rozek, Hulleman, and Hyde's "Helping parents to motivate adolescents in mathematics and science: An experimental test of a utility-value intervention" (Psychological Science, volume 23) exemplifies these principles. Judith Harackiewicz and her colleagues sought to increase high school students' willingness to take courses in mathematics and science. Rather than attempting to persuade the students directly, however, Harackiewicz and colleagues targeted a group with substantial influence over the students: their parents. Over the course of 15 months, parents received two glossy brochures and an invitation to a password-protected web site. The brochures and web site emphasized the importance of mathematics and science to college, career, and everyday life and the ways parents could communicate this importance to their children. The intervention was highly effective. Compared to a control group, children whose parents received the brochures and web site invitation took nearly a full extra semester of math and science. Through its effective intervention, the paper elegantly demonstrates the power of the situation – in this case, the role of the family as a fundamental situational influence on children, and it reminds us that the principles of influence can serve pro-social ends--a theme that is a hallmark of the work of Bob Cialdini.


 Carol and Ed Diener Award in Personality Psychology

Andrew J. Elliot

The recipient of the 2013 Carol and Ed Diener Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Contributions to Personality Psychology is Andrew J. Elliot. Dr. Elliot received his Ph.D. in 1994 from the University of Wisconsin and has spent his career at the University of Rochester where he is currently a Professor of Psychology. The recipient of three different early career awards, Dr. Elliot has made significant and substantial contributions to personality/social psychology. His research on approach/avoidance motivation has fostered renewed excitement about classic theoretical questions. His work in this area has clear and far reaching implications for research in emotion, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, and sport and exercise psychology. His research integrating perceptual processes in social judgments implicates as well evolutionary frameworks and the psychology of gender. The quality of his work is demonstrated in its profound impact. He was named the most impactful scholar at his career stage in 2010. Federally or privately funded for the last 17 years, Dr. Elliot’s scholarship reveals a rare combination of theoretical depth, empirical rigor, methodological acumen, and deep interest in questions that matter to the world at large.

His great accomplishments are all the more remarkable considering the time and energy Dr. Elliot has generously shared with the field in various roles. He has been active in a diverse array of service roles on a host of committees within our science. Perhaps most importantly, he has served in numerous editorial capacities, representing the interests of personality psychologists, with vision, wisdom, thoughtfulness, enthusiasm, and compassion. Dr. Elliot has been a tremendous asset personality science. For his scientific and professional contributions, the selection committee proudly honors Andy Elliot.


 Carol and Ed Diener Award in Social Psychology

Nalini Ambady

We are delighted to present the 2013 Carol and Ed Diener Award for Outstanding Contributions to Social Psychology to Dr. Nalini Ambady. Dr. Ambady has an extraordinary record of contributions to the field. Her research, professional service, and mentoring of young scholars have been truly exceptional.

Dr. Ambady received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1991. She held faculty appointments at Holy Cross, Harvard, and Tufts, before joining the faculty at Stanford University in 2011. With over 150 publications in the field’s most prestigious outlets, Dr. Ambady has established herself as one of the most influential leaders in the discipline. Her innovative research has contributed enormously to the understanding of such central topics as social perception, nonverbal behavior, stereotypes, self-identity, dyadic interaction, and emotion recognition. Dr. Ambady’s research on "thin slices” has been groundbreaking, convincingly demonstrating that social, emotional, and perceptual judgments made on the basis of very brief observations of behavior can be surprisingly accurate.


 Distinguished Scholar Award

Carol S. Dweck

Dr. Carol S. Dweck, who is currently the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, epitomizes the qualities that characterize a Distinguished Scholar. This award honors a scholar who has made distinctively valuable research contributions across his or her career in areas that expand the core of social and personality research and/or integrates different topics in the discipline in significant ways. Dr. Dweck’s distinctively creative work has examined, across different age groups and in different domains, how people’s self-conceptions (or mindsets) structure their lives and determines their achievement. In a series of ground-breaking studies, Dr. Dweck demonstrated how people with a "growth mindset,” who believe that certain qualities (e.g., intelligence) can be developed through effort, good teaching, or persistence, make life choices that lead to greater success than those with a "fixed mindset,” who assume that basic abilities are unchangeable. This fundamental distinction in orientation profoundly affects people’s motivation, psychological well-being, and learning. These ideas have been extended to apply to work in diverse areas, such as in emotions and intergroup relations. Dr. Dweck’s scholarship is truly integrative: It bridges developmental, social and personality psychology and has critical implications for education. In addition, her creative insights have had enormous impact practically, as well theoretically. Interventions that change children’s mindsets from fixed to growth have produced dramatic, sustained improvements in academic performance. Dr. Dweck has offered original insights that have fundamentally changed the way the field – and the broader public – understand human development, motivation, social relations, and personality.


 Media Book Prize for the Promotion of Social and Personality Science

Jonathan Haidt

For his book

"The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion"

(Pantheon Books, 2012).

Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind takes us on a tour of how people bind themselves to political and religious teams and the moral narratives that accompany them. Using a range of arguments – anthropological, psychological, and evolutionary – he invites his readers to entertain the proposal that the political left and the right in the United States emphasize different virtues and he earnestly suggests that we use that discovery to try to get along. Whether you ultimately agree with Haidt’s view or not, it is one that is well worth considering given that the country is confronted by an ideological impasse of unprecedented magnitude.




 Methodological Innovation Award

Anthony Greenwald

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology is pleased to award the 2013 Methodological Innovation Award to Professor Anthony Greenwald. The Implicit Association Test (IAT), which Dr. Greenwald developed with colleagues, represents a truly novel approach to measuring unconscious attitudes and prejudices, and has reinvigorated the empirical and theoretical investigation of the differences between implicit and explicit attitudes and their relationships to each other. The IAT has been used in behavioral research in education, health, law, forensics, marketing, medicine, and other fields, and of course in social and personality psychology. Greenwald’s seminal article on the IAT has been cited over 4,500 times, and his collected works on implicit cognitions have been cited over 12,000 times. The website Project Implicit which he and colleagues developed is visited by tens of thousands visitors weekly. Throughout his career Greenwald has made significant methodological contributions: the key role methodological innovation plays in advancing theory, when to use within-subject research designs, reconsideration of the null hypothesis, unconscious semantic priming, and improving student evaluations. He is one of personality and social psychology’s most rigorous scientists. Greenwald is one of the preeminent methodological innovators in the fields of personality and social psychology, and the IAT that he and his collaborators invented has created a new research area in psychology.



SPSP Award for Service on Behalf of Personality and Social Psychology

Kay Deaux 

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology is pleased to recognize Dr. Kay Deaux with the Service on Behalf of Personality and Social Psychology Award. Kay Deaux has been an intellectual and professional leader in the field throughout her career. Her pioneering work on gender, on identity, and on immigrants and immigration reflect her deep social consciousness and as well as her creative and insightful scholarly perspective. Kay has served the field of personality and social psychology in profound ways. She has been President of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) and the Society for the Psychological study of Social Issues (SPSSI), as well as of the Association for Psychological Science. She currently serves on the Advisory Committee on Cultural Contact and Immigration for the Russell Sage Foundation. In addition to her highly visible and effective professional leadership, Kay is known throughout the profession for her personal sensitivity, warmth, and support for others. She is a legendary mentor and supporter of diversity in the profession and in society. For all of her contributions – formal and personal – on behalf of personality and social psychology, the Society expresses its deepest appreciation to Kay Deaux and recognizes her with this honor.


 SPSP Award for Service on Behalf of Personality and Social Psychology

Hazel Rose Markus

This award honors Hazel Markus for her service on behalf of Social and Personality psychology. Dr. Markus has made several paradigm-shifting contributions through her research, which have already been widely recognized. In addition to her research contributions, Dr. Markus has served social and personality psychology in ways that have changed the nature and content of the field. Dr. Markus has served as President of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, on grant review panels, and various administrative roles, and in editorial positions. Most notably, however, Dr. Markus has done more than any other social or personality psychologist to create the field of cultural psychology. She has organized many scientific meetings and conferences devoted to this topic. She initiated two working groups funded by the Russell Sage Foundation, one on cultural contact, and another on ethnic customs, assimilation, and American law. She has mentored and encouraged numerous young scholars. She has articulated the importance of considering how culture shapes our ways of being human, which in turn shape cultural practices. More recently, she has also drawn the attention of the field to issues of age, social class, and ethnicity, and how they shape human experience and ways of being. As a result of her efforts, the field has shifted from the assumption that research findings in one culture represent basic processes of human nature, to exploring the different social and personality psychologies linked to gender, race, social class, age, and culture.


 SPSP Award for Distinguished Service to the Society

Wendi Gardner

 This award honors Wendi Gardner for her many distinguished contributions to the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

Wendi Gardner has served the society in a number of vital ways. Beginning with her service on the SPSP Program Committee, Wendi has served on the Convention Committee, as an elected member of the Executive Committee, and as the liaison to the Committee on International Relations in Psychology. She played an especially important role in guiding the future of the annual meeting.

Wendi co-chaired the SPSP Convention Working Group, chaired the Convention Services Comparison Task Force, and has served as event planning co-liaison to our new convention organizers, FASEB. Wendi has been instrumental in the smooth operation of the convention and has helped manage a number of crises on behalf of the field. Wendi has also serves as a passionate advocate for graduate students and has been a constant source of wisdom and integrity in her service to the field.

With gratitude for her longstanding service to the society, we present Wendi Gardner with the 2013 SPSP Award for Distinguished Service to the Society.


 SPSP Award for Distinguished Service to the Society

George (Al) Goethals

Al Goethals does not simply study leadership, he is a leader. Al has served the profession in a variety of ways, including a highly successful term as Provost of Williams College. The Society recognizes him with the Award for Distinguished Service to the Society for his leadership as Secretary-Treasurer of SPSP during a pivotal time in the Society’s development. During his term as Secretary-Treasurer (1995-1997), Al shepherded the Society through lean financial times and helped establish a solid financial foundation for SPSP through its publications program. The Society for Personality and Social Psychology has benefited significantly over many years because of Al’s his vision, wisdom, and guidance. His service to the Society was truly transformational. This award acknowledges the contributions Al Goethals made to the Society and the legacy of the leadership he provided us.




  The Daniel M. Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize


Kurt Gray, Liane Young and Adam Waytz

for their 2012 Psychological Inquiry article entitled

"Mind Perception is the Essence of Morality.”

Pablo Picasso famously attempted to capture the simple essence of a bull with a mere dozen drawn lines. In their provocative and innovative article, Gray, Young, and Waytz suggest that, like Picasso’s bull, the psychology of moral judgment, too, has a simple essence. This essence, they propose, is mind perception, specifically the perception of two minds that, together, constitute a moral dyad—an intentional agent paired with a suffering patient. They argue that this cognitive template of the moral dyad underlies a wide range of apparently distinct moralities and moral judgments, thereby lending an integrative, simplifying parsimony to otherwise conceptually scattered phenomena. In support of their position, they note that two of the central dimensions of mind perception (seeing actors as having agency and experiences) correspond to two moral types (agents and patients); they suggest that all moral transgressions are understood as agency plus suffering; they generate and test novel hypotheses that people cognitively infer complete moral dyads of intentional agents and suffering patients, and typecast others as moral agents or moral patients; they provide their own empirical evidence and draw on sound evidence reported by others to build their arguments; and they posit a range of additional, interesting hypotheses.

Beyond challenging existing theories of moral judgment, this paper also stimulates the reader to contemplate critical questions relevant to all of scientific inquiry: What is the value of theoretical parsimony? When is there too much and when is there not enough parsimony? If Picasso’s essence of bull is too often perceived as not the dangerous and savage gladiator of the fighting ring but rather as the overfed and pampered antelope of the petting zoo, has the artist simplified too much in the spirit of parsimony? If the proposed essence of moral judgment turns out to struggle at times to conceptually capture the rich diversity of moral judgment across domains, ideologies, or cultures, has the theoretician simplified too much in the spirit of parsimony? And by what criteria do we decide?

By virtue, then, of its attempted reach, engaging writing, marshaling of evidence, and willingness to provoke, Gray, Young, and Waytz’s article is likely to stimulate exciting new lines of inquiry in social and personality psychology and encourage broader conversations about what defines useful theory. For these reasons, Gray, Young, and Waytz are highly deserving winners of the 2013 SPSP Theoretical Innovation Prize.

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