Janet Shibley Hyde
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Janet Shibley Hyde is Helen Thompson Woolley Professor of Psychology and Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. For more than four decades, Hyde’s contributions have shaped the field of psychology of women and gender, with profound implications for the broader field of psychology. It is no exaggeration to say that advances made in this important field would not have occurred—or would have been substantially delayed—if not for Hyde’s courage, wisdom, and determined efforts.
Beginning in the 1970s, Hyde shaped the field of psychology of women, offering an undergraduate course on the topic as early as 1973. Hyde published the major psychology-of-women textbook, Half the Human Experience, in 1976. Defining the field, this text has been studied by tens of thousands of students and is in its ninth edition. Hyde’s scientific contributions have not only defined the field but also advanced it. Her 2005 article proposing the gender similarities hypothesis synthesized her own results, as well as those of numerous meta-analyses of psychological gender differences. The striking finding was that more than three-fourths of published gender effects were small or negligible, providing massive support for gender similarities. The implications of the gender similarities hypothesis are profound. For example, if parents or teachers believe there are large gender differences in math ability, they may overlook girls with exceptional mathematical talent; these beliefs are empirically countered by Hyde’s hypothesis.
Hyde’s body of scientific research reveals the contributions of an extraordinary scientist whose ground-breaking work has left an indelible mark on the field. Hyde is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. The Association for Women in Psychology has recognized Hyde with the Pioneer in the Psychology of Women Award, and the International Council of Psychologists has recognized her with the Denmark-Grunwald Award for outstanding contributions to the psychology of women and gender.