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The SPSP Service to the Field Award on Behalf of Personality and Social Psychology
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Award Description

Past Recipients

Past Citations

Nomination Instructions

TheSPSP Service to the Field Award on Behalf of Personality and Social Psychology, established in 2002, is for distinguished efforts by individuals to benefit the field of social and personality psychology generally. These efforts may involve activities to support educational and research activities in the field, professional leadership, and achievements that enhance the reputation of the field. Recipients may be members of the Society or the profession or individuals outside of psychology or academia. The Society recognizes the diversity of activities that may merit this award.

One or more awards may be given annually.

Each recipient receives a $500 honorarium.


2013 Kay Deaux, Hazel Markus

2012 Claude Steele

2011 Congressman Brian Baird

2010 Ed Diener, David Myers

2009 Mark P. Zanna, Philip G. Zimbardo

2008 John Cacioppo, Robert Cialdini

2007 Charles M. Judd, Harry T. Reis, and Eliot R. Smith;

Heather O'Beirne Kelly and Karen Studwell

2006 James S. Jackson, Amber Story

2005 Molly Oliveri, Todd Heatherton

2004 Susan Fiske, Gardner Lindzey

2003 Nancy Cantor, Robert Croyle

2002 Steve Breckler, Fred Rhodewalt



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.

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.


This award honors Claude Steele for his service on behalf of Social and Personality psychology.Dr. Steele is well-known for his many important theoretical and empirical contributions to social psychology. In addition to those contributions, Dr. Steele has served the fields of personality and social psychology in numerous ways. He has served on the boards of numerous professional societies in the field of psychology. As an internationally known scholar, he has represented social and personality psychology in the governance of national organizations, including the Board of the Social Science Research Council, the Board of Directors of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and National Science Board, which advises the President of the United States and the Congress on scientific matters. As a member of the National Academy of Sciences, he advocated for increasing the number of social scientists in the Academy. As the Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, he raised funds to restore the Center to fiscal health. Dr. Steele has served as the voice of social psychology, presenting social psychological research to other disciplines and to the public. His expert testimony in two cases that were ultimately decided by the Supreme Court, Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger, demonstrated the relevance of social psychological research on stereotype threat and the achievement of African-American college students to issues of national import. The Society recognizes his extraordinary contributions as a public face of social and personality psychology, and an advocate for our research to the nation and the world.


As a member of the US House of Representatives from 1999 to 2011, Representative Baird has consistently advocated for science in general, and social and personality psychology in particular. As a member of the Committee on Science and Technology, he promoted scientific research on a range of topics, advocated for funding of scientific research, provided thoughtful leadership on issues of scientific integrity, and defended scientific research, including social and personality psychology research, from efforts to defund it. Representative Baird‘s support for social and personality psychology extended beyond issues of funding. He persuasively articulated the importance of scientific, rather than political, review and promoted the field as a scientific discipline of stature. The Society recognizes his steadfast commitment to support and defend scientific research, and efforts to promote high standards for science and scientists. He has been a true friend to social and personality psychology at times when the field greatly needed support.

Nomination Instructions

Each year nominations are made by the SPSP Awards Committee.




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