2014-2015 APS Mentor Award

Robert Rosenthal

University of California, Riverside

Robert Rosenthal has been a prominent figure in the field of psychological science for more than 50 years, working to further understanding of interpersonal expectancy effects, including how teachers’ expectations affect their students’ academic achievements. Rosenthal has also advocated for continued examination of the way data are analyzed, arguing that the statistical power and effect size of empirical findings should receive increased consideration. He has been particularly influential in the study of nonverbal behavior and communication, mentoring several students who have gone on to become leading psychological scientists in this area of research. He has been honored with the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award for his distinguished achievements in psychological science.

As a mentor, Rosenthal has sought to impart information in a straightforward manner, so others can learn from his discoveries. Above all, his mentees say, he is interested in communicating, not just with his intellectual peers, but with the wider scientific community as well. Thus, the scope of his research has reached far beyond his circle of mentees and students. Further, they emphasize his commitment to scientific study as a public service rather than simply a way for researchers to gain recognition through publishing. Despite his busy schedule, mentees recall him as generous with his time and insights. APS Fellow Judith A. Hall notes, “We all keep Bob’s advice and habits that he passed to us in our toolkit even decades after having him personally as a teacher… I regularly pass his insights, statistical tools, and even his words (both wise and funny) down to students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.”