The SPSP Theoretical Innovation Prize recognizes an article or book chapter judged to provide the most innovative theoretical contribution to social/personality psychology within a given year. Any kind of innovative theoretical contribution can be considered for the prize, including presentations of new theories, new theory-based integrations of disparate areas of inquiry, and significant extensions of existing theories to new areas of inquiry. Theoretical contributions are eligible for the prize regardless of the format of their presentation, whether in stand-alone theoretical papers, within conceptually based literature reviews, or in some other written format that highlights conceptual innovation.
The prize recognizes theoretical articles that are especially likely to generate the discovery of new hypotheses, new phenomena, or new ways of thinking about the discipline of social/personality psychology. Theoretical contributions may be judged innovative and generative even before they have accumulated substantial empirical support. Therefore, an article may be judged worthy for the prize even if it runs the risk of empirical invalidation in the future. The emphasis of the prize is on a contribution's conceptual innovation and potential to motivate new research and further conceptual investigation, rather than on its current level of empirical support.
Eligible articles are those published as papers in peer-reviewed journals or as book chapters during the previous calendar year. Books and unpublished manuscripts are not eligible.
Eligible articles may be nominated by their authors or by other members of SPSP. The Prize Committee may also consider additional eligible papers even if not nominated by their authors or other individuals.
The Award Nomination Panel has the option of not awarding a prize annually.
The recipient receives a $500 honorarium.
- Tessa West & David Kenny for their 2011 Psychological Review article entitled "The Truth and Bias Model of Judgment” (Vol. 118, pp. 357–378)
- Landau, M. J., Meier, B. P., & Keefer, L. A. (2010, September 6). A Metaphor-Enriched Social Cognition. Psychological Bulletin. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0020970
- Morewedge, C. K. (2009). When dreaming is believing: The (motivated) interpretation of dreams. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 249-264.
- Pronin, E. & Jacobs, E. (2008). Thought speed, mood, and the experience of mental motion. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3, 461-485.
- Epley, N., Waytz, A., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2007). On seeing human: A three-factor theory of anthropomorphism. Psychological Review, 114, 864-886.
- Honorable Mention: Baumeister, R. F., Vohs, K. D., DeWall, N., & Zhang, L. (2007). How emotion shapes behavior: Feedback, anticipation, and reflection, rather than direct causation. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11, 167-203.
- Dijksterhuis, A. & Nordgren, L. F. (2006) A theory of unconscious thought. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1, 95-109.
- Murray, S. L., Holmes, J. G., & Collins, N. L. (2006). Optimizing assurance: The risk regulation system in relationships. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 641-666.
- Conrey, F. R., Sherman, J. W., Gawronski, B., Hugenberg, K., & Groom, C. (2005). Separating multiple processes in implicit social cognition: The Quad Model of implicit task performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 469-487.
- Honorable Mention: Hart, J., Shaver, P., & Goldenberg, J. L. (2005). Attachment, self-esteem, worldviews, and terror management: Evidence for a tripartite security system. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 999-1013.
- Honorable Mention: Leary, M. R. (2005). Why does social exclusion hurt? The relationship between social and physical pain. Psychological Bulletin, 131, 202-223.
- Smith, E. R., & Semin, G. (2004). Socially situated cognition: Cognition in its social context. In M. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 36, 53-117.
- Honorable Mention: Dickerson, S. S., & Kemeny, M. E. (2004). Acute stressors and cortisol responses: A theoretical integration and synthesis of laboratory research. Psychological Bulletin, 130, 355-391.
- Simonton, D. K. (2003). Scientific creativity as constrained stochastic behavior: The integration of product, person, and process perspectives. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 475-494.
- Honorable Mention: Jost, J. T., Glaser, J., Kruglanski, A. W., & Sulloway, F. J. (2003). Political conservatism as motivated cognition. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 339-375.
- Jost, J. T., & Hunyady, O. (2002). The psychology of system justification and the palliative function of ideology. European Review of Social Psychology, 13, 111-153.
- Niedenthal, P. M., Barsalou, L. W., Winkielman, P., Krauth-Gruber, S., & Ric, F. (unpublished). Embodiment in attitudes, social perception, and emotion.
- Strack, F., & Deutsch, R. (2004). Reflective and impulsive determinants of social behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 8, 220-247.
- Blanton, H., & Christie, C. (2003). Deviance regulation: A theory of action and identity. Review of General Psychology, 7, 115-149.
- Fleeson, W. (2001). Toward a structure- and process-integrated view of personality: Traits as density distributions of states. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 1011-1027.
- Kwan, V. S. Y., John, O. P., Kenny, D. A., Bond, M. H., & Robins, R. W. (2004). Reconceptualizing individual differences in self-enhancement bias: An interpersonal approach. Psychological Review, 111, 94-110.
The 2012 SPSP Theoretical Innovation Prize has been awarded to Tessa V. West and David A. Kenny for their innovative 2011 Psychological Review article entitled "The Truth and Bias Model of Judgment.” (Vol. 118, pp. 357–378).Despite broad interest in the processes of accuracy and bias in psychology, there is no single framework to define and measure them. Rather, theoretical models have been developed to address accuracy and bias within particular domains. As a result, the meaning of accuracy and bias, and the methodological approaches used to examine them, vary considerably. In their innovative article, West and Kenny propose the truth and bias (T & B) model, a single, integrative framework for the study of accuracy and bias across domains within psychology. The T & B model specifies that judgments are pulled by two forces, truth and bias. Countering the intuition that accuracy and bias are negatively related, they highlight the insights that truth and bias may be positively, negatively, or not at all related, and that psychological mechanisms may operate on truth and bias independently: Some mechanisms can lead perceivers to be both accurate and biased, others can lead to more accuracy and less bias, and yet others to more bias and less accuracy. Importantly, West and Kenny articulate how the parameters of their model can be translated into empirical methods that researchers can employ to develop and refine hypotheses of accuracy and bias as they operate across a range of domains. West and Kenny illustrate the broad applicability of their model by demonstrating how it sheds light on theoretical issues in the domain of close dyadic relationships. By virtue of its scope and conceptual sophistication, West and Kenny’s article has the potential to stimulate exciting new lines of inquiry in social and personality psychology, as well as in neighboring disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. For these reasons, West and Kenny are highly deserving winners of the 2012 SPSP Theoretical Innovation Prize.
The 2011 SPSP Theoretical Innovation Prize is awarded to Mark J. Landau, Brian P. Meier and Lucas A. Keefer for their innovative 2010 Psychological Bulletin article entitled "A Metaphor-Enriched Social Cognition.” Psychologists strive to make sense of how people make sense. Dominant approaches to this task have adopted the straightforward view that people interpret and evaluate new experiences by drawing on personal knowledge they have acquired through past experiences. Of course, human cognition resides in individual minds, but Landau, Meier and Keefer identify and articulate an emerging new trend in social and personality psychology, one that considers how people come to understand the social world through the conceptual metaphors that surround them. Despite the long tradition and growing interest in metaphor-based cognition, no group has yet provided the formal integration of relevant research that has been needed for the field to "move forward” (metaphorically speaking). Landau and colleagues provide this through their review of the many ways that conceptual metaphors have been shown to shape human understandings. Their analysis examines metaphoric influences on such diverse concepts as divinity, morality, and power and considers the ways metaphors might influence reactions to social policies pertaining to such varied topics as seatbelt use and illegal immigration. By articulating ways in which metaphor has, itself, acted as a metaphor that has guided psychological research, these investigators have provided the field with new understanding of how culture and history can shape the way we think and react to the worlds in which we live.
Eligible articles are those published as papers in peer-reviewed journals or as book chapters during calendar year 2012.
Books, unpublished and ‘in press’ manuscripts are not eligible. ‘Published in 2012’ means, as rightly interpreted, that it appears in print in 2012.
Eligible articles or chapters may be nominated by their authors or by other members of SPSP. The Panel may also consider additional eligible papers even if not nominated by their authors or other individuals.
To nominate an article or chapter for consideration, individuals should send the following to TheoreticalPrize@gmail.com
- An E-file in PDF or Microsoft Word format of the nominated piece
- An E-file of a brief (e.g., one paragraph) nominating letter describing how the nominated article excels on the prize criteria
- If the nominated piece is a chapter and does not contain an abstract, a 150 word abstract (electronic format) should also be sent.
Please designate that the nomination is for the Theoretical Innovation Prize.
The submission deadline is July 1, 2013.
- The 2013 Theoretical Innovation Prize recipient will receive an award of $500.
- This Prize will be presented at the annual convention of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, which will take place in Austin, TX, February 13-15 2014.
The members of this year’s Award Nomination Panel are Steve Neuberg (Chair), Serena Chen, Nick Epley, Jolanda Jetten, Robert Livingston, and Paula Niedenthal.
Questions should be directed to the Chair at TheoreticalPrize@gmail.com
The Panel has the option of not awarding a prize annually.