1999 James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award
Robert J. Sternberg
Robert Sternberg has made significant and numerous contributions to our understanding of the nature of human intelligence. He has been a leader in integrating research in cognitive science with the study of individual differences in human stabilities.
His work has redefined our conceptions of intelligence. His earlier innovative componential analyses of human abilities helped explain the relations between measures of intelligence, creativity, memory, reasoning, information processing, and problem solving. His triarchic theory of intelligence has had a marked influence on the field and has led to numerous applications of his theories to practical problems. His expanded conceptualization of intelligence includes tacit knowledge as a central component of practical intelligence, as contrasted with conventional academic intelligence. He developed measures of tacit knowledge and demonstrated that these measures add significantly to the prediction of achievement in work settings.
His impact has been widespread and cumulative on a number of different disciplines relevant to our field. For example, numerous citations to his work may be found in texts on cognitive psychology, psychological testing, educational psychology, and increasingly in books on industrial and organizational psychology. His insights have had relevance for teaching, university admissions policy, our understanding of developmental processes, and the prediction of leadership potential. His prolific encyclopedic efforts in bringing theories, methods, and applications together in landmark handbooks and other publications have advanced our ability to facilitate human achievement.