Harry P. Bahrick
Ohio Wesleyan University
Many psychological scientists know Harry Bahrick for his groundbreaking work on long-term memory for complex knowledge. But for generations of undergraduates attending Ohio Wesleyan University, Bahrick was their instructor in introductory psychology, statistics, or experimental psychology. He provided their first exposure to psychological science, and he was its passionate advocate, persuading students that psychologists investigated the most provocative, fundamental, and challenging questions in science. From the classroom, many students gravitated to Bahrick’s memory lab, where they could work on cutting-edge psychological science. Many mentees describe the experience as life-changing. Cara Wellman, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University, writes, “His mentorship was invaluable to me, and I am quite certain that I would not be a professor today if it weren’t for his guidance.” And many mentees relied on his sage advice for decades after graduation.
Approximately 60 memory-lab alumni earned PhDs. Their research has contributed substantially to psychological science: Collectively, alumni have published more than 2,300 scholarly works that have been cited more than 85,000 times— roughly four citations daily since the first lab alumnus earned a PhD in 1955. And many went on to serve as officers of professional organizations (e.g., the Association for Psychological Science [APS]) and editors of major journals (e.g., Psychological Science).
Bahrick is a Fellow of APS. He has served as chair of the Governing Board of the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition and has served as president of the Society for Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science. He has been honored by The Ohio State University Psychology Department with the Outstanding Alumnus Award and by The Ohio State University Alumni Association with the Distinguished Professional Achievement Award.