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The Robert B. Cialdini Award
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Award Description

Past Recipients

Past Citations

The Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology

Nominations Closed

The Robert B. Cialdini Award recognizes the author(s) of a publication that uses field methods and demonstrates relevance to outside groups. It is designed to recognize 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 within a given year.”

• The Award Nomination Panel has the option of not awarding an award annually.

• The recipient receives a $2,400 honorarium and is endowed by FPSP.


2013: Judith Harackiewicz, Christopher Rozek, Chris Hulleman, Janet Hyde

2012: Richard Larrick, Thomas Timmerman, Andrew Carton, Jason Abrevaya

2011: Ayelet Gneezy, Uri Gneezy, Leif Nelson, Amber Brown

2010: Elizabeth Levy Paluck

2009: Kees Keizer, Steigwart Lindenberg, Linda Steg

2008: Alberto Voci, Miles Hewstone, Rhiannon Turner




This year's Cialdini Award recipients are Judith Harackiewicz, Christopher Rozek, Chris Hulleman, and Janet Hyde for their paper "Helping parents to motivate adolescents in mathematics and science: An experimental test of a utility-value intervention" (Psychological Science, volume 23). 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.


The winners of the 2012 Cialdini Award are Richard P. Larrick, Thomas A. Timmerman, Andrew M. Carton and Jason Abrevaya for their paper entitled "Temper, Temperature, and Temptation: Heat-related Retaliation in Baseball”, published in Psychological Science, 2012, Volume 22. In this article the authors analyze data from over 50,000 major league baseball games to examine the factors that affect the probability of a pitcher hitting a batter. Consistent with past research, they find that pitchers are more likely to hit batters in hot weather, but that this effect occurs only when one of their own teammates has been hit earlier in the game. Using archival data from a field setting where passions often run high, this research demonstrates that heat does not directly affect aggression but rather facilitates aggressive responses to provocation. The authors’ clever and innovative use of field data to explore social psychological phenomena exemplifies Bob Cialdini’s genius for deriving important insights into human behavior from easily observable real-life events.


The 2011 Cialdini Award goes to Ayelet Gneezy, Uri Gneezy, Leif Nelson, and Amber Brown for their paper entitled, "Shared Social Responsibility: A Field Experiment in Pay-What-You-Want Pricing and Charitable Giving,” published in Science in 2010. This article describes the results of an ambitious field experiment comparing the success of pay-what-you-want vs. fixed pricing when crossed with a promise of donating vs. not to a charitable cause. Results reveal that although a generic pay-what-you-want scheme was unsuccessful, pay-what-you-want was highly successful – and even more profitable than any other pricing scheme -- when accompanied by a promise to donate half of the proceeds to charity. In the best tradition of Bob Cialdini’s work, this study used a large-scale field experiment to illustrate how corporate and charitable interests can be aligned to benefit society, while also teaching us something important about human behavior.

The Foundation

The Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology is a recently formed organization that has been established to raise funds and sponsor philanthropic activities advancing the discipline. As a non-profit charitable organization incorporated in the state of New York, the Foundation is an independent entity legally separate from related organizations, but shares the commitment of those organizations to personality and social psychology. It focuses on development and fundraising, seeking gifts and donations to fund activities that would augment and broaden the vigor of personality and social psychology. In doing so, it seeks to provide crucial support for forward-looking and long-term activities supporting discovery and teaching in personality and social psychology.


Nominations Closed

Nominations have closed for the 2014 Cialdini Award. This award will be presented at the annual convention of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, which will take place in Long Beach, California, February 26-28, 2015.

This year’s Award Nomination Panel members consist of Rick Larrick (Chair), Judith Harackiewicz, and Steve Neuberg.

Questions should be directed to the Chair at

The Panel has the option of not awarding an annual award. 


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