Nancy Adler has been a pioneer in health psychology, having co-edited the first textbook on that topic and run one of the first graduate programs in health psychology at the University of California, San Francisco. he has also led, for more than 20 years, a postdoctoral program in health psychology funded by the National Institutes of Health. Adler has investigated why individuals engage in health-damaging behaviors and how their understanding of risk affects their choices.
John Anderson is widely known for his cognitive architecture, ACT-R (Adaptive Control of Thought — Rational), a theory dealing primarily with memory structure. He was also an early leader in research on intelligent tutoring systems (ITS), computer systems that provide immediate and customized instruction or feedback to learners.
Chris Argyris is one of the world’s most respected management thinkers. A behavioral scientist, he has devoted his career to understanding how organizations operate and how managers learn.
Linda Bartoshuk is an international leader in taste research and a pioneer in developing new methods of psychophysical scaling. Her brilliant work has focused on the genetic variations in taste perception, and how that perception affects overall health. Bartoshuk was the first scientist to discover that burning mouth syndrome, a condition experienced mainly by postmenopausal women, is the result of damage to the taste buds at the front of the tongue and not, as was once commonly believed, a psychosomatic condition.
Marilynn Brewer is internationally recognized for her contributions to research in social cognition, especially social identify and intergroup relations. Her work has focused on social identity, collective decision making, prejudice, and intergroup relations. Her exceptionally rich and rigorous career has spanned several decades and several continents.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has devoted his career to studying what makes people happy. His books and scientific research publications on creativity, innovation, and what makes life worth living are used extensively and widely cited across many disciplines and professions. His seminal work was reported in his bestselling 1990 book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. He is the author of 13 other books and 225 research articles. Building on years of detailed research, Csikszentmihalyi created the term “flow” to describe the experience of being completely immersed in an activity for its own sake.
John Darley’s contributions to psychological science cover a vast range — from social comparison and attribution processes, expectancy confirmation, deviance and conformity, and stereotyping and prejudice to energy conservation, health psychology, morality and the law, the function of punishment, and the way organizations inadvertently promote evil. Darley is best known for his innovative theory and research, in collaboration with Bibb Latané, on bystander intervention in emergencies.
Judy S. DeLoache is a leading expert on children’s behavior, and is renowned for developing the dual representation theory of symbolic development. Her work has greatly advanced the understanding of children’s memory and reasoning. In an early research program, DeLoache developed a paradigm in which she hid an object in a scale model of a larger room to see if children could use what they knew about the hiding event in the model to find a larger version of the object hidden in the comparable place in the room.
Nicknamed “Dr. Happiness,” Ed Diener is one of the leading pioneers in scientific research on happiness. He developed the Satisfaction with Life Scale and many other research protocols currently used by psychologists; he is chiefly responsible for coining and conceptualizing the term “Subjective Well-Being (SWB)” — how people experience the quality of their lives.
As one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation, Carol Dweck’s work bridges developmental, social, and personality psychology, and examines the mindsets people use to guide their behavior. Her work has demonstrated the role of mindsets in people’s motivation and has shown how praise for intelligence can undermine motivation and learning.
An internationally renowned developmental psychologist, Uta Frith has pioneered much of the current research into the cognitive neuroscience of autism and dyslexia. In fact, she is regarded as one of the first scientists to recognize autism as a condition of the brain rather than the outcome of detached parenting, a conclusion she argued for persuasively in her seminal 1989 book Autism: Explaining the Enigma.
Irving I. Gottesman is known internationally for his work in the field of behavioral and psychiatric genetics. His research has focused on the many ways that genetic factors interact with and augment environmental influences that lead to endophenotypes for psychopathology. In 1966, at the University of Minnesota, Gottesman created the United States’ first academic program on human behavioral genetics. His pioneering focus drew burgeoning attention to — and funding for — cross-disciplinary approaches to psychological science.
A renowned expert on human cognition, social psychologist Anthony Greenwald’s work has led to the discovery and documentation of unconscious and automatic thought processes that most people would rather not possess. He ingeniously has taken what had once been a pariah of psychological science — subliminal perception — and turned it into a respectable area of research and even a gold mine for others to excavate. In 1995, Greenwald and his collaborators created the Implicit Association Test (IAT), which employs association techniques and has been extremely effective in unmasking implicit racism and other forms of bias.
In a remarkable career, Janellen Huttenlocher has published on a range of research topics, including language, spatial coding in adults and children, quantitative development, and memory. She is a major figure, both within these subfields and in psychology at large. Huttenlocher has been particularly interested in the role of the child’s environment in the development of cognitive skills. One of her most famous findings is that the verbal behavior of parents and teachers not only determined children’s vocabulary growth, but also their grammatical learning.
Larry Jacoby is one of the world’s foremost researchers on memory — specifically on the distinction between consciously controlled and automatic processes. The distinction is useful for better understanding of age-related differences in memory performance, and for improved diagnosis and treatment of memory deficits.
Patricia K. Kuhl is internationally recognized for her research on early language and brain development, and studies that show how young children learn. She is co-director, with her husband Andrew N. Meltzoff, of the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences. Kuhl’s lab is using event-related potentials, functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging, and magnetoencephalography to investigate how infant and adult brains process speech. She has also conducted research on language development in autism, and is particularly interested in the role that the social brain plays in language learning.
Ellen Markman’s work has covered a range of issues in cognitive development. She conducted some of the pioneering research on the development of comprehension monitoring in children. Much of her work has addressed questions about the relationship between language and thought in children focusing especially on categorization and inductive reasoning and on how infants and young children figure out the meanings of words.
Karen Matthews is renowned for her many and multi-faceted contributions to the formation and growth of health psychology as a discipline. Her research accomplishments have included seminal work on childhood antecedents of coronary heart disease risk, women’s health and menopause, and the effects of socioeconomic status on health.
Bruce S. McEwen has spent more than 40 years studying how hormones regulate the brain and nervous system. His neuroendocrinology lab showed that stress hormones affect brain centers involved in learning and memory, emotion and mood control and has been at the forefront of research on the impact and mechanisms of stress effects on the brain. He has helped draw distinctions between good or adaptable forms of stress and toxic stress.
Best known for his research on concepts and categorization, Doug Medin studies how our ideas of the natural world develop, examining biological thought from a cross-cultural perspective He also investigates the role of culture and moral values in the decision-making process.
With a background in cognitive science and now a professor of neurology, Newport has devoted her career to studying human language acquisition and developmental psycholinguistics, with a focus on the relationship between language development and language structure. She studies both normal language acquisition and creolization using miniature languages presented to learners in the lab, where both the input and the structure of the language can be controlled.
Susan K. Nolen-Hoeksema died following heart surgery early in 2013, leaving behind a legacy of groundbreaking research on mood disorders. She was recognized internationally for her work on how people regulate their feelings and emotions. She showed that certain thinking patterns can make people vulnerable to emotional problems like depression, and can slow their recovery from them. Nolen-Hoeksema pioneered research on rumination, and how it interferes with people’s ability to solve problems and obtain help from others.
John Swets is the intellectual father of signal detection theory (SDT) — an idea he borrowed from World War II radar experts and adapted for the study of human decision making. He has played a key role in adapting SDT as a central tool in the study of perception, and ultimately in the field of medical diagnostics.
Allan Wagner has been a major innovator of powerful concepts that have revolutionized theories of habituation, classical conditioning, and instrumental conditioning. His proposals, in collaboration with University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Robert Rescorla, of the fundamental laws of conditioning provided significant hypotheses that have dominated and reshaped the understanding of associative processes.
John Weisz has committed his scientific career to improving the lives of children and adolescents who have serious emotional and behavioral problems. His research focuses on promoting youth mental health through evidence-based intervention. Through his deployment-focused model and his own research, he has promoted the idea that both interventions and intervention science are enhanced when treatment development and testing are carried out in the clinical care contexts for which the interventions are ultimately intended.