Loren and Jean Chapman
University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Association for Psychological Science names Loren and Jean Chapman as a William James Fellows in recognition of their distinguished achievements in psychological science.
Loren and Jean Chapman together have changed the field of schizophrenia research and powerfully influenced the research of many others. They have made seminal contributions to our understanding of how design studies that test for differential deficit and distinguish it from generalized deficit. Using the methodological rigor which has now become virtually synonymous with their name, they embarked upon a long series of studies on different aspects of schizophrenic cognition. Much of their early data on this topic was summarized in Disordered Thought in Schizophrenia which has become a classic in the field. The Chapmans’ interest in thought disorder led to their research into a source of systematic errors in observational reports made by normal people. The Chapmans coined the term “illusory correlation” for this error. This idea has had enormous impact on many different subdisciplines of the behavioral sciences. The Chapmans have also pioneered in the study of the prediction of psychosis. Using scales they developed to measure difference aspects of psychosis proneness, they have empirically confirmed that subjects in their early twenties scoring highly on such scales are more likely to develop clinical psychosis later in life. This work has enormous theoretical and pragmatic significance and has influenced scores of young researchers who are examining various features of behavior, experience and physiology in individuals with deviant scores on these scales.
These, along with many other marks of distinction too numerous to list, secure a very significant place in psychology for the work of the Chapmans. The field of psychopathology research has been irrevocably made better by their many distinguished contributions.