APS William James Fellow Award

The APS William James Fellow Award honors APS members for their lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology. Recipients must be APS members recognized internationally for their outstanding contributions to scientific psychology. Honorees are recognized annually at the APS Convention.

APS’s lifetime achievement awards are not exclusive. In other words, an exceptional psychological scientist might be awarded all of them.

Submit an APS William James Fellow Award Nomination

View a list of Past Award Recipients

APS William James Fellow Award Committee

Linda Bartoshuk (Chair),
University of Florida

Isabel Gauthier,
Vanderbilt University

Susan Goldin-Meadow,
The University of Chicago

E. Tory Higgins,
Columbia University

Janet Werker,
University of British Columbia

Cindy Yee-Bradbury,
University of California, Los Angeles

2023 Award Recipients

Kent C. Berridge

University of Michigan

The James Olds Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Michigan, Kent Charles Berridge is a neuroscientist and psychologist focused on improving understanding of the neural mechanisms of emotion, motivation, learning, and reward. His seminal research demonstrated that the neural circuitry mediating wanting (mesolimbic dopaminergic pathways) is different from the circuitry mediating liking (nondopaminergic pleasure hotspots). This distinction helped to redefine the field of affective science and advance interventions for conditions including gambling, drug addiction, and alcoholism. His research pushes the boundaries of how the brain maps and interprets pleasure and fear, desire and addictions, and integrates these states with emotions. Indicators of his influence and impact include more than 78,000 citations, and over a dozen papers with greater than 1,000 citations. 

Angela D. Friederici

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Angela D. Friederici is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking research that advances the understanding of topics such as the neural basis of language, how the human brain processes and acquires language at different stages of development, and functional similarities and dissimilarities between language and music processing. A founding director and professor at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, her multidisciplinary approach to research incorporates findings from such diverse disciplines as neurology, neuroanatomy, and imaging sciences. Early in her career, she established the functional autonomy of the syntactic system and its relative independence from semantic processes. She later moved to event-related potential (ERP) studies and pioneered the development of novel paradigms for investigating the time course of syntactic processing in auditory language comprehension. Friederici has published nearly 500 peer-reviewed journal articles that are highly cited. She has fundamentally changed the understanding of language processing in the brain, and, in so doing, launched a generation of scholars around the world. 

Vonnie C. McLoyd

University of Michigan

Vonnie McLoyd is an Ewart A. C. Thomas Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan, where she also received her master’s and PhD degrees. McLoyd examines social variables in detail to understand their contributions to the ways in which individuals grow and change. She pioneered attempts to describe the psychological processes through which economic deprivation influences Black families and children, and her work has guided the development of effective prevention and intervention programs for Black communities. McLoyd’s influential work continues in the classroom, public policy, societies and committees, and scientific journals. Among her dozens of highly cited published papers, a seminal 1998 article on socioeconomic disadvantage and child development helped usher in an unprecedented focus on socioemotional learning as related to children in poverty. She has significantly advanced knowledge and social policy about the impacts of poverty and racism on the psychological development of young children and has inspired scores of young researchers.