APS Welcomes New Board Members

The new APS Board of Directors is set for 2008-2009. Walter Mischel takes the helm as APS President, succeeding John T. Cacioppo who, after guiding APS through its 20th anniversary celebrations, begins a term as Immediate Past President. Linda M. Bartoshuk joins the Presidential triumvirate as APS President-Elect.

Anne Treisman has been appointed to the Board as APS Secretary, succeeding Bartoshuk in that post. Elected to the Board for three-year terms are APS Board Members-at-Large Susan Goldin-Meadow and Elke Weber.

APS wishes to thank outgoing Immediate Past President Morton Ann Gernsbacher and Board Members-at Large Patricia L. Devine and Douglas L. Medin for their dedicated service to the Board and the Association.

Please welcome our new leaders and read more about them below.

Walter Mischel
Columbia University
APS President
APS William James Fellow Award Winner Walter Mischel begins his Presidency as APS stretches into its third decade. Mischel is the Robert Johnston Niven Professor of Psychology at Columbia University, where he has been since 1983. An esteemed researcher in the fields of personality and emotion, Mischel’s work continues to establish new precedents and inspire new research across many subfields of psychology.

“Exciting developments and progress in our science are making it possible for psychology to become the increasingly integrative and cumulative hub science that John Cacioppo characterized last year,” said Mischel. “He used his presidency to further support this trend within APS, and I hope to do the same.”

Mischel’s work spans a five-decade career that took off after he published his acclaimed monograph Personality and Assessment while at Stanford University in 1968. Later, Mischel developed the “delay of immediate gratification for the sake of delayed but more valued rewards” paradigm, better known — albeit inaccurately — as the “Marshmallow Test.” Recently, the 8th edition of his landmark textbook, Introduction to Personality: Toward an Integrative Science of the Person, authored with Yuichi Shoda and Ozlem Ayduk, was published by Wiley.
His influential work has been widely recognized. Mischel’s election as APS President is the latest in an increasingly long list of honors. Mischel was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 2004. In 1990, Mischel was one of the first ever recipients of the APS William James Fellow Award. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychologists, the Distinguished Scientist Award of APA’s Division of Clinical Psychology, and the Jack Block Award for Distinguished Contributions to Personality Psychology from the Society of Personality and Social Psychology.

Mischel understands there are “barriers to slow our progress.” He explained, “In my first few Observer columns this year, I will discuss some of the widely shared expectations and values in the culture of academic psychology that may no longer be serving us well—in journal policies and reviewing practices, in grant evaluations and funding, in the tenure process. My focus in these columns, and in my role at APS, will be on possible changes in values and practices in our profession that might facilitate psychology’s progress toward becoming the hub science we are now well-positioned to be.” (Please see Mischel’s first Presidential Column on page 3 of this issue).

Linda M. Bartoshuk
University of Florida
APS President-Elect

Over the years, APS Fellow and Charter Member Linda M. Bartoshuk has gotten a taste of what it’s like to lead APS. Now, she prepares for her next course: President-Elect of APS. Bartoshuk rejoins the Board this year as a familiar face, having served on the Board as Member-at-Large from 2000 to 2003 and as Secretary from 2006 to 2008.

Bartoshuk is one of the leading researchers in the field of taste physiology and disorders. Currently Bushnell Professor in the Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science at the University of Florida College of Dentistry, Bartoshuk is known for her investigations of the effects of genetic variation on tasting (supertasters) and taste pathology (taste loss and phantom taste). Most recently, Bartoshuk has focused on “psychophysical methodology relevant to assessing hedonic experience.” In other words, “Why do we like to eat what we do?”

As future APS President, Bartoshuk is “most concerned about the place psychology holds among the other sciences. She explained, “Behavioral science is not well understood by some of our colleagues. This has implications for our funding and our ability to offer appropriate scientific advice with regard to problems we face in the nation and in the world.”

Bartoshuk counts her election as APS President as one of the biggest honors of her career. “APS has proved to be the best scientific society for behavioral science,” she said.

Already an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, Bartoshuk was appointed in February 2008 to a three-year term on the Council of the NAS. Her past leadership positions also include terms as president of the APA Division 6 (known as Comparative and Physiological Psychology, now called Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology) and as President of APA Division 1 (The Society for General Psychology).

Although Bartoshuk’s research has always focused on a very specific area of psychological science, human taste, she understands and emphasizes psychological science as a critical field facing important obstacles. “APS is a generalist organization. It offers us the opportunities to come to know and appreciate areas other than our own specialties. It encourages links between specialties.” These bonds, Bartoshuk explained, will help APS alter misunderstandings about psychological science and bring psychological science to the forefront: “One of our biggest opportunities, and one we are making great strides with, is communication about what we do.”

Anne Treisman
Princeton University
Secretary
Anne Treisman joins the APS Board as Secretary. Treisman is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at Princeton University, bringing over 40 years of research success to the Association’s leadership.

Treisman’s early work helped propel the cognitive revolution in psychology, and it remains highly influential today. Most recognized for her Feature Integration Theory of Attention, Treisman’s pioneering publications and methodologies have been the bases for thousands of later experiments in cognitive psychology, neuroscience, vision sciences, and other fields. According to Treisman’s theory, features of an object (color, shape, etc.) are perceived in a bottom-up, simultaneous, and automatic manner.

Her current research concerns visual memory; conscious and unconscious awareness; spatial, selective, and global attention; and, as she has focused on throughout her distinguished career, the “binding problem” in visual perception (in other words, how do we combine information about a certain object?). According to Treisman, her research “explores the nature of the limits to human perception, the information-processing that results in the perception of objects and events, and the nature of the representations that underlie both conscious experience and implicit memory.”

Known for her novel methodologies and ability to think outside the box, Treisman has repeatedly inspired others throughout her career, both within the field of psychology and beyond. She will certainly bring this broad perspective to the APS Board.

Treisman’s leadership credentials and awards are impressive. The winner of the 2002 APS William James Fellow Award, Treisman has also served as a member of the APS William James Award Committee. In addition, Treisman is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (1994) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1995). She is also an elected fellow of the Royal Society of London. She holds dual citizenship in Great Britain and the United States.

Susan Goldin-Meadow
University of Chicago
APS Board Member
APS Fellow and Charter Member Susan Goldin-Meadow is pleased to begin her three-year stint as APS Board Member-at-Large. “APS does a great job,” said Goldin-Meadow. “I’m excited to be involved and am looking forward to doing what I can to help.” Goldin-Meadow’s research has focused on language learning and cognitive development, specifically on the use of gesture. She is currently the Beardsley Ruml Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, where she has been a professor for over 30 years.

Goldin-Meadow investigates which aspects of language development are able to withstand wide variations in learning conditions; she has named these aspects the “resilient properties of language.” Goldin-Meadow has also studied the use of gesture in human language more generally, finding that the gestures we produce when we talk not only reflect our thoughts, but also play a role in changing those thoughts.

Goldin-Meadow hopes to build upon the APS message of united psychological science. “The worry I have about our field is that it is becoming compartmentalized,” she explained. “There is a place for psychological science as a unified field. It’s important to ask ourselves, ‘What brings us together and unifies our science?’” She believes the APS Annual Convention and APS journals allow psychologists to better understand each other and allow the public to better understand what psychology is. “They increase the salience and understanding of psychology in general,” she remarked. “The goal is to make sure they continue to do so.”

The founding editor of Language Learning and Development, Goldin-Meadow is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is past President of the Cognitive Development Society and currently serves as President of the International Society for Gesture Studies.

Her willingness to serve APS as a Board Member comes as no surprise, as she has repeatedly served her community and affiliations throughout her career. “I like to make my community as good as it can be,” she explained. During her time at the University of Chicago, Goldin-Meadow has served on numerous boards, as well as a recent three-year term on the Council of the University Senate. In 2004, she delivered the APS William James Distinguished Lecture at the Eastern Psychological Association’s annual meeting.

Elke Weber
Columbia University
APS Board Member
APS also welcomes APS Fellow Elke Weber to the Board. As the Jerome A. Chazen Professor of International Business, Professor of Management, and Professor of Psychology, as well as the founding director of the Center for the Decision Sciences at Columbia University, Weber studies the very thing she will be doing as a Board member: making decisions that guide APS into its third decade.

“I see APS as the national (and going into the future, increasingly international) organization to promote the scientific pursuit of psychological questions,” she said. As an expert in the decision sciences, Weber has found that “we tend to be myopic — that is, get caught up in considerations that are too close to us geographically, temporally, and psychologically.” As an APS leader, Weber will “make a conscious effort to concentrate on the ‘big picture’ and longer time horizons.”

Weber, an APS member since 1990, received her MA and PhD in Behavior and Decision Analysis from Harvard University in 1984. Over the next 15 years, Weber’s research path took her to stops at universities in Toronto, Chicago, Germany, California, and Ohio, before finally settling at Columbia in 1999. Having conducted research on four continents, Weber believes “all social science research ought to be conducted cross-culturally to help us distinguish between those components of psychological processes and behavioral responses that are truly universally human (or can even been found in other species) and those that are culturally determined.”

Weber’s research focuses on behavioral models of judgment and decision making under risk and uncertainty. She uses methodologies and tools from economics, management, psychology, and the neurosciences to investigate group decision making, individual and species differences in risky decision making, and the role of memory processes in decisions.

More recently, Weber’s work has also ventured into the realm of environmental policy and climate change. As Director of the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, a multi-university and field sites center that is headquartered at Columbia University, Weber has studied farmers, water reservoir users and managers, and other stakeholders from around the world, and has “identified psychological entry points for attempts to help people better deal with environmental challenges for which we are psychologically ill prepared.”

In addition to her impressive research record, Weber is past President of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, as well as the Society for Mathematical Psychology, past Co-Editor of Risk Decision & Policy, and currently serves as President of the Society for Neuroeconomics and as Associate Editor for Management Science.

Observer Vol.21, No.8 September, 2008

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