Convergence: Connecting Levels of Analysis in Psychological Science
 In the past, our field harbored distinct, and often competing, schools of thought that tackled different problems and produced findings that often appeared to diverge. Today, investigators attack shared problems at complementary levels of analysis and produce results that converge. Studies of people in a social world; mental systems of cognition and emotion; and biological mechanisms of the genome and the nervous system interconnect and yield an integrated psychological science. The APS 23rd Annual Convention displays, and celebrates, these advances in our field.

Psychonomic Society-APS William K. Estes Symposium

The Career and Impact of William K. Estes

Saturday, May 26, 2012, 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM
Sheraton Ballroom IV

Chair: Lawrence Erlbaum
Upper Saddle River, NJ

William K. Estes (June 17, 1919 – August 17, 2011) had an enormous influence on psychological science, from his pioneering work in mathematical psychology to his collaborations with colleagues to his mentoring of students, many of whom are now leaders in the fields of learning and memory. His long and productive career encompassed the science of learning and memory from behaviorism to cognitive science, with seminal contributions to both. Estes also had a special role in APS’s history and success as Founding Editor of our flagship journal Psychological Science. During those years, his wife, Katherine W. (Kay) Estes, served as Founding Managing Editor. Bill and Kay were a team in so many undertakings. The W.K. & K.W. Estes Fund celebrates their contributions to psychological science.

The APS Estes Symposium at the 2012 APS Convention will be presented by APS Past President Robert A. Bjork, University of California, Los Angeles, and Richard M. Shiffrin, Indiana University.

Friends and colleagues share their memories of Bill Estes in the APS Observer: Remembering William K. Estes.

Robert A. Bjork

William Kaye Estes: A Man for All Reasons
Robert A. Bjork
University of California, Los Angeles
Though slight of stature and soft of voice, William Kaye Estes was a towering and eloquent figure in our field. His contributions as a scientist, scholar, and editor, which earned him the National Medal of Science, among other awards, are well known, but his contributions to so many of us as mentor, colleague, and friend were equally impressive and meaningful. Together with his wife and collaborator, Kay, he was an unwavering source of support, inspiration, good humor, and help in time of need. Drawing on my and others’ memories of the great man, I attempt to convey why William Kaye Estes had such a personal, as well as professional, impact on so many of us.

Robert Bjork in the news: Wired (Jan 29, 2012).

Richard M. Shiffrin

What Is Modeling, How Is It Useful, and Why Is It Inevitable?
Richard M. Shiffrin
Indiana University
William K. Estes is renowned for introducing mathematical modeling to our field, and overseeing its rapid deployment. Given that all science, including psychological science, is at heart empirical, why do all scientific fields, and psychological science in particular increasingly come to embrace theory in the form of quantitative modeling as the fields mature? The answers, not always clearly understood, help mark the importance of Estes’ contributions. In the context of psychological science, I will endeavor to explain what modeling is and is not, what purpose it serves, why science comes to rely on it so heavily, and why our science will inevitably continue to move in this direction. In the brief time allotted today I will justify the claims with a few examples from my own research on cognitive processing (often inspired by Estes).


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