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The Jack Block Award
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Award Description

Past Recipients

Past Citations

The Block Award is SPSP's principal award for research accomplishment in personality psychology. It was named for Jack Block, who was known for his analytic and theoretical sophistication and depth, as well as for his broad interests. The recipients of this award are recognized for their scientifically rigorous career research accomplishments in personality psychology rather than for a specific discovery or article. The award was first given in 2000.

The recipient receives a $1000 honorarium. The Block Award recipient also gives an address (with the Campbell Award and the Distinguished Scholar Award recipients) at a special plenary session during the SPSP convention.


2013  Robert R. (Jeff) McCrae

2012  Dan McAdams 

2011  Charles Carver

2010  Roy Baumeister

2009  Paul T. Costa

2008  David Funder

2007  Ed Diener

2006  Lewis R. Goldberg

2005  Walter Mischel

2004  Harrison Gough

2003  Ravenna Helson

2002  Paul Ekman

2001  Auke Tellegen

2000  Jack Block




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 21st century, 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.


Dan McAdams has been the leading thinker over the past quarter century in the study of personality, identity, and human development. His work has spanned the study of generativity in adult development, the role of power, intimacy, and redemption in human lives, modernity and the self, the psychological study of religion, and autobiographical memory. He is best known for developing a life-story theory of human identity, through which he has demonstrated that people form sense of purpose in their lives by creating "personal myths." This pioneering work is marked by the linking of theory and research, the integration of quantitative and qualitative methods, and an unparalleled ability to draw not only from various areas within psychology, but also from theology, history and philosophy. His book, The Redemptive Self: Stories Americans Live By, received APA's 2006 William James Award and the 2007 Association of American Publishers Award for excellence in professional and scholarly publishing. While advancing the field of personality in important and creative ways, Dan McAdams has been an extraordinary ambassador, representing the best of personality psychology to the social sciences and humanities, and through his lucid writing, to the general public.


Charles Carver has been one of the most influential and integrative thinkers and prolific contributors to research on personality over the past three decades. His theory of self-regulation through goals (an overview was published as a book in 1998, together with his long-time collaborator, Michael Scheier) has influenced scores of personality psychologists and represents a sophisticated application of cybernetic principles to the description of personality dynamics. Among his other influential contributions to personality research are his work on self-directed attention, his work on optimism, a theory of emotion as resulting from discrepancies between projected and actual rates of goal progress, and an account of depression and impulsive aggression as resulting from impaired regulation of behavioral approach and avoidance systems. Charles Carver has been an incredibly prolific writer, sharp and rigorous thinker, and has helped shape the field through his tenure as editor at JPSP and author of a popular textbook (coauthored by Michael Scheier) that introduces new students to the field of personality with an amazingly broad and balanced approach to its diversity. Modern research on personality has benefitted tremendously from Carver's input and would be considerably poorer and less developed without it.

Each year nominations are made by a SPSP Block Award Nomination Panel.  Nominations from the public are not accepted for this award. 




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