Cornell University developmental psychologist Stephen J. Ceci is the recipient of the 2004-05 American Psychological Society's (APS) James McKeen Cattell Award "for a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the area of psychological research whose research addresses a critical problem in society at large."
APS is considered the nation's premier scientific psychological organization, and the award is one of APS's two highest honors. The announcement is published in this month's (September) issue of the APS Observer .
"Stephen Ceci is one of the most influential and well-known developmental psychologists in America," reads the Cattell award plaque that Ceci will receive at the annual APS meeting in Los Angeles in May. Ceci will give an award address at the annual meeting, and the theme of the program will relate to Ceci's research on the accuracy of children's courtroom testimony as well as the development of intelligence and memory, with other speakers giving addresses related to Ceci's contributions.
"His research … findings have led to significant advances in how we think about intelligence and children's testimonial competence," the award states. "This work and his studies of gamblers and young video game players have carved his imprint into the theoretical landscape through award-winning books and articles. He is one of a handful of highly creative thinkers who have redefined modern developmental psychology's approach to these topics. In the course of doing this, Ceci has had a major impact, for example, on judicial thinking about child witnesses. His studies of children's suggestibility with [Johns Hopkins' psychologist] Maggie Bruck are an elegant integration of cognitive, social, and biological processes, and have been cited by courts at all levels."
The only other Cornellian ever to receive the award was Ceci's colleague, Urie Bronfenbrenner, who received the award in 1993.
"Dr. Ceci is certainly in the very top echelon of contemporary scientific psychologists, with enormous influence in basic science and applied science," says Frank H. Farley, past president of the American Psychological Association and professor of educational psychology at Temple University. "I believe his work is having more salutary impact on pressing social and legal issues than almost anyone else in our field, and for this he has been awarded the highest honor given by the American Psychological Society, on the heels of receiving last year the comparable honor given by the American Psychological Association. Thus, he has received back-to-back the highest honors given by the world's two largest psychological societies, an almost unprecedented recognition of a scholar's great accomplishments."
Ceci, the Helen L. Carr Professor of Development Psychology in the College of Human Ecology, also has been the recipient of the 2003 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association (APA), the Society for Research in Child Development's 2001 Social Policy Award and the American Academy of Forensic Psychology's Lifetime Contribution Award. His other honors include a Senior Fulbright-Hayes fellowship, a National Institutes of Health Research Career Scientist Award, the IBM Supercomputing Prize, three Senior Mensa Foundation Research Prizes and the Arthur Rickter Award. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), APS and APA (7 divisions). Currently he serves on the White House Commission on Developmental Research, the National Science Foundation's Advisory Board and the National Academy of Science's Board on Behavioral, Cognitive and Sensory Sciences.
Ceci's 1996 book, On Intelligence: A Bio-Ecological Treatise (Harvard University Press), received wide critical acclaim, and his book (co-written with Maggie Bruck) Jeopardy in the Courtroom: A Scientific Analysis of Children's Testimony (1995) was the winner of the 1999 William James Award for Excellence in Psychology. Ceci founded and co-edits the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest , published by APS.