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The Carol and Ed Diener Award in Social Psychology

Award Description

Past Recipients

Past Citations

The Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology

Nominations Closed

The Carol and Ed Diener Award in Social Psychology is designed to recognize a scholar (approximately 15-25 years from their first tenure-track appointment) whose work has added substantially to the body of knowledge to the social psychology field and/or brings together personality psychology and social psychology.

The recipient receives a $1,000 honorarium, in addition to up to $1,500 in convention attendance expenses. This Award is endowed by FPSP.

A generous gift by Ed and Carol Diener to FPSP has endowed this award for outstanding contributions to the field of social psychology by scientists in their mid-career. The Foundation thanks Carol and Ed Diener for this award and SPSP for administering the selection of the award recipient.


2013 Nalini Ambady
2012 Dacher Keltner
2011 Galen Bodenhausen
2010 Michael Hogg
2009 Jeff Simpson
2008 Mahzarin Banaji
2007 Dan Gilbert



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.


Dr. Dacher Keltner embodies the qualities that this award seeks to recognize: groundbreaking research and theory (with a particular emphasis on positive emotion and status hierarchies), wide visibility both within the field (he has served as associate editor for JPSP, is currently an associate editor for Psychological Review, and is co-author of an influential textbook) and outside of the field (he is director of Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and was recognized as one of the world’s top 50 visionaries by Utne Magazine in 2008), and research that bridges disciplines (in particular, social psychology, business, biology, and evolutionary thought). Dr. Keltner also has contributed greatly to the field through his outstanding teaching and mentoring of both undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Keltner’s four books and 150 publications have made significant contributions to social psychological topics centering around positive emotion, morality, and status. His articles typically appear in our field’s top journals and a number of them been singled out for distinction. In contrast to the dominant emphasis in psychology on social problems, Dr. Keltner’s research consistently emphasizes the positive side of human nature. He is widely credited with establishing a new research area in the study of positive emotions, including laughter, awe, and pride, among other topics. He is also widely recognized for his contributions to the study of power and hierarchy,and most recently, his groundbreaking empirical work on the psychological legacy of social class.


Galen Bodenhausen is a very accomplished scholar who has contributed in several important ways to the field of social psychology through his exceptional research, his service, and his mentoring of young scientists. With over 100 publications to date, Galen Bodenhausen has been one of the most influential leaders in the field of social cognition. Much of his research has examined the cognitive processes that govern categorical thinking, stereotyping, and prejudice, especially the role of stereotypes as judgmental heuristics that ease information processing. His more recent theoretical and empirical work has focused on stereotype and attitude change. He has also conducted ground-breaking research on the role of incidental affect on stereotyping and the mechanisms through which perceivers process visually ambiguous or complex social information. In addition to these important empirical contributions, he has also published significant theoretical pieces and reviews in several prestigious outlets, including the Annual Review of Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, and Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

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 for this award have closed.  The Carol and Ed Diener Award for Social Psychology 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.

Members of this year’s Award Nomination Panel for the Diener Award in Social Psychology are Nicole Shelton (Chair), Harry Reis, and Eliot Smith.

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