Steve Ceci wins Thorndike award for lifetime research

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Syl Kacapyr
Stephen Ceci

Stephen J. Ceci, the Helen L. Carr Professor of Developmental Psychology in the College of Human Ecology, is the winner of the 2014 E.L. Thorndike Award for Lifetime Contribution in Research from the American Psychological Association (APA).

The award letter noted that he was chosen “from a list of outstanding nominees” and that his career has been “laden with the kind of excellent achievements that those of us who work in the field of educational psychology value highly. It is clear that your program of research has both theoretical and practical value to the larger educational, psychological and legal communities. Your work in several areas, from your bio-ecological theory of intellectual development and your groundbreaking work on children’s suggestibility to your more recent work examining women’s and girls’ achievement in science, has had a major impact on several fields, including educational psychology.”

Ceci received the award at the APA’s annual convention Aug. 7-10 in Washington, D.C.

The prestigious award, which has honored such icons in the psychology world as Jean Piaget, B.F. Skinner and Albert Bandura, was also won by Robert Sternberg, who joined the faculty of Cornell’s Department of Human Development earlier this year, making “Cornell's Department of Human Development the only department in the world with two living Thorndike winners on its faculty,” said Ceci.

Ceci, the author or co-author of more than 400 academic publications, most recently won the 2013 Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award, from the Society for Research in Child Development. He is one of the most cited developmental psychologists – 35 of his articles and books have been cited more than 100 times each. All told, his work has been cited about 22,000 times, according to Google Scholar, with an H index of 63 (meaning that 63 of his articles have each been cited at least 63 times).

In the award nomination, Ceci’s seminal scientific contributions were noted in the areas of everyday intelligence (with the late Cornell professors Urie Bronfenbrenner and Ulric Neisser), sex differences in mathematical ability (with Cornell professor Wendy M. Williams) and the reliability of child witnesses (with Maggie Bruck of Johns Hopkins University).

Ceci came to Cornell in 1980 and has since received lifetime distinguished scientist awards from the APA and the Association for Psychological Science, among numerous other awards.

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