Linda B. Smith, Robert Cialdini, and Gordon Logan Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Linda B. Smith

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has elected APS William James Fellow Linda B. Smith and APS Fellow Robert Cialdini to its distinguished list of members. APS Fellow Gordon Logan, a professor at Vanderbilt University who is a Canadian citizen, has been elected a foreign associate.

The psychological scientists are among 100 new members and 25 foreign associates who have joined NAS in recognition of their achievements in original research. APS Fellow Gordon Logan, a professor at Vanderbilt University but is originally from Canada, has been elected a foreign associate.

Robert Cialdini

This marks a second major honor in 2019 for Smith, a distinguished professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University, Bloomington. She and APS William James Fellow Nora Newcombe (Temple University) recently received awards from the Society of Experimental Psychology, the oldest, most prestigious honor society in the field of psychology.

Smith is widely known for her model of perceptual classification which holds that we classify objects by overall similarity in early childhood but rely on identical dimensional identities — such as color, size, or shape alone — as adults. In her more recent work, she has been using head-mounted cameras and eye trackers to study how infants’ view of the world contributes to cognitive and visual development. Her studies in this area link vision and machine learning, and are among the first to connect infants’ unique visual environment to object name learning.

Gordon Logan

Logan, who studies attention, skill acquisition, and executive control, pioneered the “stop-signal paradigm” that forces someone to inhibit an ongoing action in response to a stop signal. That model has allowed psychological scientists to learn how people stop an ongoing behavior, and has been applied in clinical settings to help patients with inhibitory control deficits.

Achieving membership in NAS is a significant accomplishment for scientists of any discipline. The new NAS members will join their colleagues in providing independent analysis and advice to the United States and will contribute to national discussions surrounding public policy issues. Members also oversee the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a multidisciplinary journal.

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