2013 James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award

Scott O. Lilienfeld

Emory University

Scott O. Lilienfeld is one of the most influential clinical psychological scientists of our time. In addition to his empirical and theoretical work on personality disorders and anxiety disorders, Lilienfeld has devoted much of his academic career to combating the threats to psychological science posed by pseudoscience and questionable science. In recent years, he has also focused on disseminating scientific thinking to students and the general public and assisted laypersons with the task of distinguishing science from pseudoscience in popular psychology.

Lilienfeld has made important contributions to the literature on psychological diagnosis, personality assessment, and psychopathology. His research on psychopathy alone has been cited more than 2,300 times. His work has shaped the way we think about classification and assessment of mental disorders, sources of comorbidity of psychological conditions, dissociation, and conceptual and empirical links between seemingly disparate disorders such as somatization and psychopathy.

Over the years, Scott has been an articulate and effective public spokesperson for psychological science and the field’s staunchest opponent of pseudoscience. His critical appraisal of projective testing has played an important role in changing the way mainstream clinicians and court systems regard the validity and utility of projective tests. He is co-author of a regular “Fact and Fictions in Mental Health” column in Scientific American Mind, he has presented a scientific perspective to millions of viewers of prime-time television and radio programs, and he has been interviewed for numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Lilienfeld’s book 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions About Human Behavior has reached a wide popular and academic audience and has provided a much-needed antidote to the potentially damaging misinformation propagated by the media and the “pop psych industry.” Without question, Lilienfeld is the foremost world authority on pseudoscience in psychology and a tireless champion of psychological science.

See Lilienfeld’s award address presented at the 2013 APS Annual Convention in Washington, DC.