Lifetime Achievement Awards

The highest honor of our society.

Since 2013, Div. 3 has recognized outstanding scholars who have made long-lasting and distinguished theoretical and/or empirical contributions to basic research in experimental psychology. The award in no way signals the end of a lifetime of achievement — the honorees are generally active scientists whose work will continue to shape our field for many years to come — but each has a record of sustained scholarship that merits the highest recognition conferred by the society. Past recipients were Randy Engle, Keith Rayner, Larry Jacoby, Duane Rumbaugh and Roddy Roediger.

The 2017 Lifetime Achievement Awards from Div. 3 were given to Professors Morton Ann Gernsbacher and Anne Treisman.

Morton Ann Gernsbacher

Morton Ann GernsbacherMorton Ann Gernsbacher is a Vilas research professor and the Sir Frederic C. Bartlett professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (with previous appointment at U. Oregon). Her research on the cognitive and neural mechanisms of language have resulted in more than 150 articles and chapters and several books, including: “Language Comprehension as Structure Building” (1990) and the edited/co-edited volumes “Handbook of Psycholinguistics” (1994, 2006), “Coherence n Spontaneous Text” (1995), “Interdisciplinary Collaboration: An Emerging Cognitive Science” (2014) and “Psychology and the Real World” (2014).

Gernsbacher earned her PhD in human experimental psychology from the University of Texas at Austin after receiving her MS from the University of Texas at Dallas and her BS with honors from the University of North Texas. In addition to being a Fellow of Div. 3, she is a Fellow of APA Divs. 1 and 6, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society for Experimental Psychologists, the American Educational Research Association and the Association for Psychological Science, of which she also served as President in 2006. She has also led several other scholarly organizations, including Div. 3 in 2001-2002.

The Div. 3 Lifetime Achievement Award adds to a long list of other prestigious recognitions of Gernsbacher's research and teaching, including: the 1986 Ernsted Award for Distinguished University Teaching from the University of Oregon, a 1998 James McKeen Cattell Foundation Fellowship, the 1998 Hilldale Award for Distinguished Professional Accomplishment and a 2001 Faculty Development Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a 1998 Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education Award from the National Science Foundation, the 2000 Distinguished Scientist Lecture Award from the APA, the 2007 William James Distinguished Lecture from SEPA, the George A. Miller Award for Outstanding Journal Article in Psychology for 2009, the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award from University Texas-Dallas, the 2013 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the Society for Text & Discourse and the 2014 Ernest Hilgard Lifetime Achievement Award from the APA.

More information on Gernsbacher's award lecture, “Students' use of laptops in college classrooms: What do the data really suggest?” is available elsewhere in this newsletter.

Anne Treisman

Anne TreismanAnne Treisman is James S. McDonnell Distinguished University professor of psychology emeritus at Princeton University, with previous appointments at Oxford University and University of California-Berkeley. Her seminal research on attention was hugely influential in the resurgence of cognitive psychology in the 1960s, and her continued scholarship on the topic led to some of the most influential insights into the role of attention in binding sensory features into perceptions. Her over 100 published articles and chapters includes some of the most highly-cited publications in experimental psychology. The enduring impact of this work was highlighted in “From Perception to Consciousness: Searching with Anne Treisman” (Wolfe & Robertson, 2012).

Treisman earned a BA with distinction from Cambridge University and a PhD from Oxford University, with honorary degrees from the University of British Columbia and University College, London. The Div. 3 Lifetime Achievement Award is the latest in an impressive list of honors that include fellow status in the Royal Society of London, the Association for Psychological Science and the Psychonomic Society. She was elected to the Society of Experimental Psychologists, National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. Other honors and recognitions include the 1963 Spearman Medal from the British Psychological Society, a 1982 James McKeen Cattell Award, the 1990 Howard Crosby Warren Medal of the Society of Experimental Psychologists, a 1990 Distinguished Scientific Contribution award from APA, the 1996 Golden Brain Award from the Minerva Foundation and the Grawemeyer Award for Psychology in 2009. In 2013, President Barak Obama named Treisman as a recipient of the National Medal of Science, the highest honor in science given by the United States government.

In 2013, Treisman discussed her career with the National Science Foundation and her 2011 National Medal of Science award. The Div. 3 program at the APA convention in August will include a symposium in honor of Treisman's award.