Join us for in-depth conversations with some of the stars of our field. Hear about their career paths, their research, and the unexpected joys and challenges along the way.
2021: Betsy Levy Paluck
Betsy Levy Paluck is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and in the Policy School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Her research is concerned with the reduction of prejudice and conflict, including ethnic and political conflict, youth conflict in schools, and violence against women. She uses large-scale field experiments to test interventions that target individuals' perceived norms and behavior about conflict and tolerance, including mass media and peer-to-peer interventions. Professor Paluck is a 2017 Macarthur Fellow, and has been the recipient of the Princeton University Graduate Mentor award and the Cialdini Award for field research.
Interviewer: Mina Cikara, Harvard University
2021: Nilanjana Buju Dasgupta
Nilanjana Buju Dasgupta (AB Smith College, PhD Yale University) is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Institute of Diversity Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research is on implicit bias and its plasticity. She is particularly interested in evidence-based interventions to overcome the impact of bias on the self and careers of people from stereotyped groups. Dasgupta’s research has been funded by several grants from the NSF, NIH, and APF. She received the Application of Personality and Social Psychology Award from SPSP, the Hidden Bias Research Prize awarded by the Level Playing Field Institute in Silicon Valley, and the Chancellor’s Medal for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity. She gave a NSF-invited distinguished faculty lecture and another invited presentation at the White House during the Obama administration. Dasgupta served on the NSF Advisory Committee for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences. She is passionate about translating science to tackle social problems routinely speaks to stakeholders in K-12, universities, industry, and policymaking. Dasgupta’s research has been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, The Atlantic, International Herald Tribune, London Times, National Public Radio, PBS, ABC News, Scientific American Mind, Slate.com, and other popular news outlets.
Interviewer: Valerie Purdie Greenaway, Columbia University
2020: David Funder
David C. Funder is Distinguished Professor of Psychology and winner of the 2009 Jack Block Award for Research in Personality. He is a former editor of the Journal of Research in Personality and is the author of The Personality Puzzle, a widely-used textbook now in its 8th edition. Best known for his research on personality judgment, he has also published research on delay of gratification, attribution theory, personality development, and the psychological assessment of situations. He is principal investigator of the International Situations Project, a collaboration of 144 psychologists from 64 countries. This project seeks to assess the experience of daily situations and its associations with personality, and the ways these vary around the world. His research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Before arriving at the University of California, Riverside, he served on the faculty at Harvey Mudd College, Harvard University, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Interviewer: Ryne Sherman, Hogan Assessments
2019: Laura King
Dr. Laura King is a Curators' Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri. She is editor-in-chief of Perspectives on Psychological Science and previously served as the editor of the third section of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Journal of Research in Personality. Dr. King has made key research contributions in a wide range of topic areas across personality and social psychology, including goal strivings, lay conceptualizations of the good life, maturity, coping and growth through trauma, individual differences in cognitive processing styles, well-being judgments, and the experience of meaning in life. She has also been the recipient of numerous grants and awards supporting and recognizing her work, including the 2018 Jack Block Award for Distinguished Research in Personality.
Interviewer: Samantha Heintzelman, Rutgers University
2018: Brenda Major
Dr. Brenda Major holds the rank of Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Department of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara. There, she directs the Self and Social Identity Lab which explores psychological resilience—the personality characteristics and cognitive, emotional, and behavioral strategies that enable people to maintain their sense of self-esteem and well-being as they cope with prejudice, discrimination, devalued social identities, and stressful life events. Dr. Major has authored over 175 articles and chapters, and co-edited two books, most recently the Oxford Handbook of Stigma, Discrimination, and Health published in 2017. Dr. Major has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards for this work. Notably, not one, not two, but THREE Gordon Allport Prizes from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) for her work exploring gender and behavior (with Kay Deaux), the psychological implications of organizational diversity structures (with Cheryl Kaiser), and perhaps her most well-known work exploring stigma and self-esteem (with Jenny Crocker) which also received the Scientific Impact Prize from the Society for Experimental Social Psychology. Finally, in recognition of her contributions to psychology over the course of her career (to date), Dr. Major is also a proud recipient of the Kurt Lewin Award from SPSSI, and the Donald T. Campbell Prize from SPSP.
Interviewer: Keith Maddox, Tufts University