Richard E. Nisbett
University of Michigan
Richard E. Nisbett is one of the most distinguished social psychologists active in psychological science today, and has won virtually every major award in the field, including the APS William James Fellow Award and now the 2014 APS Mentor Award. He is a prolific researcher whose work has fostered a greater understanding of human behavior and whose 1977 paper with APS William James Fellow Timothy Wilson, “Telling More Than We Can Know: Verbal Reports on Mental Processes,” is highly influential in the analysis of cognitive processes.
Nisbett integrates his research on culture and cognition with the practical reality of his mentoring responsibilities. To assist his international students, he hired a speech coach to help with effective presentation and public speaking. His mentees describe him as a dedicated mentor who treats his students as equals and guides them toward a systematic and insightful way of reasoning.
Notable among Nisbett’s mentees is the similarity between their own careers and their mentor’s: Many have worked at only one or two universities, as he has. As APS Fellow Dov Cohen describes, “It is as if we all learned the lesson: Make a home for yourself, do the very best work you are capable of doing, and don’t worry about all the rest.” Nisbett is honored for fostering growth and learning in myriad young academics, for his extensive and far-reaching research in the field of social psychology, and for always making a home for his mentees.