University of Washington, Seattle
Through his unending curiosity, his enormous energy, and his ability to think critically and ask the right questions, Earl Hunt has made seminal contributions to the study of mental abilities. By establishing the theoretical and empirical connections between models of cognition and thought, he has shown that individual differences in performance are not “error variance”—they are important phenomena to be explained.
As Hunt’s papers and books have had a significant impact on the academic study of individual differences in cognitive functioning, so too has his work had significant impact in applied areas: specifically, education and issues related to economics, i.e., the American workforce as well as workforces across nations. An example of the former is the application of his research to students’ learning in high school physics; an example of the latter is his book Will We Be Smart Enough? A Cognitive Analysis of the Coming Workforce.
Hunt’s commitment and service to the profession includes writing frequent, lengthy, highly constructive reviews for major journals in the field, in which he pays attention to even the smallest detail to make the papers as good as they can be. Through these efforts as well as his own exemplary research and writing Hunt helps maintain the highest standards and ultimately makes the field stronger.
See Hunt’s award address presented at the 2011 APS Annual Convention in Washington, DC.