Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Join SPSP
The Media Book Prize for the Promotion of Social and Personality Science
Share |

Award Description

Past Recipients

Past Citations

Nomination Instructions (Deadline: May 15, 2014)

Established in 2011 by SPSP, TheMedia Book Prize for the Promotion of Social and Personality Science honors a book written by a psychologist that makes a distinctive and important contribution to the field by promoting an understanding of the science of social and personality psychology to the general public.

Books serve an important role in promoting understanding of social and personality psychology to the general public. The aim of this Prize is to give recognition to the best book of the given year that presents social and personality psychology to broader audiences.

This Prize has several benefits.

  • It serves to recognize the role of books in promoting our science to the wider public.
  • Books are one way that people inside the field often contribute to getting the word out about our science making this a good mechanism to recognize those efforts (given that the other two Media Awards are meant to focus on SPSP outsiders).

The Award Nomination Panel has the option of not awarding a prize annually.

The recipient receives a $500 honorarium.


2013 Jonathan Haidt

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

2012 James Pennebaker
The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us



The 2013 Media Book Prize goes to 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.


The 2012 Media Book Prize goes to James W. Pennebaker, for "The Secret Life of Pronouns: What our Words Say About Us." Before reading this book, anyone other than the most devoted lexiphile might ask, "Who cares about pronouns?” But Pennebaker shows why pronouns matter: they reflect our personality, goals, and context. The science is compelling, the thrust is novel, and the conclusions furnish a provocative basis for expanding the way we understand and study human behavior. By weaving in references to online self-tests, well-known public figures, and literary characters, Pennebaker has created a book that is engaging, fun, and accessible to readers well beyond the field of Psychology. As such, The Secret Life of Pronouns generates broad interest in the science of psychology and the importance of the research done in our field.

Nomination Instructions


  • Individuals may self-nominate or be nominated by others.
  • For the 2014 Media Book Prize, eligible books are those published during calendar year 2013, i.e. those with a 2013 copyright date.
  • Books that are unpublished and ‘in press’ are not eligible. 
  • Published in 2013 means (as rightly interpreted) appears in print in 2013 (i.e. not in press or published in 2008).
  • The publication year is the year the book was first published, not subsequent publications, i.e. into paperback format.
  • This Prize is not open to edited academic volumes.       
  • One award may be given each year, but the Panel is not obligated to award this Prize annually.

Two Options for Book Submission:

Hard Copy Books:
• Mail 4 copies of the book with a brief nomination letter to the SPSP office address below:

Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
1600 L Street NW, #1000
Washington DC 20036

• Hard copy books submitted cannot be returned.


Books in PDf or other electronic version (encouraged):
• Email the book’s E-file with a brief nominating letter to .


The submission deadline is May 15, 2014.

The recipient will receive a $500 honorarium.

This 2014 Book Prize will be presented at the annual Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference, which will take place in Long Beach, California, February 26-28, 2015.

This year’s Award Nomination Panel for the 2014 Media Book Prize is Tom Gilovich (Chair), Jamil Zaki, Jon Haidt, and Kathleen Vohs.

Questions can be directed to the Chair at

Sign In

Forgot your password?

Haven't joined yet?


Mailing List Rental


SPSP Convention
APA Convention
European Summer Program
Australasian Summer Program


Dues Hardship
Printable Form



Character & Context Blog
Endorsed Links



Site FAQ
Forum FAQ
Terms of Use


Live Chat
Welcome back! Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with.
powered by SnapEngage
Call me now