Personality and Social Psychology Awards go to UC Davis Scholars

Two UC Davis psychology professors have earned prestigious awards from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the world’s leading professional society for the field.

Phillip Shaver has won the Career Contribution Award, which honors a scholar who has made major empirical contributions to social and/or personality psychology, or to bridging these areas. Recipients are recognized for distinguished scholarly contributions across long, productive careers. They receive a $1,000 honorarium, plus travel and lodging expenses to attend the award ceremony.

“The Society for Personality and Social Psychology contains the top people in my field, so it’s a huge honor to receive a Career Contribution Award from them,” says Shaver, whose work focuses on emotional attachments in close relationships and who has about 300 publication titles to his name.
“My work deals with emotions and close relationships, and these topics have become especially important over the past few decades, partly because of the country’s high divorce rate and partly, I believe, because of the huge influx of women scholars into social/personality psychology,” he adds. “I was just lucky to come along when these interesting topics became researchable, popular and well-funded. I’ve had some excellent students, international postdocs, and international collaborators who have made it possible for me to continue to be highly engaged, creative, and productive. It’s been an exciting intellectual journey that I never anticipated early in my career.”
Rick Robins has won the 2012 Diener Award in Personality, funded by a gift from Ed and Carol Diener to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of personality psychology by scientists in their mid-career.

The only mid-career award in personality psychology, the Diener Award is designed to recognize a scholar whose work has added substantially to the field’s body of knowledge. The recipient receives a $1,000 honorarium, in addition to up to $1,500 in convention attendance expenses.

The SPSP Mid-Career award recognizes Robins’ accomplishments from his entire career.

“When I think of all of the outstanding scholars in my field, I am truly honored to receive this recognition. The field of personality is unique because it integrates multiple levels of analysis, encompassing everything from the study of individual genes to how cultural factors shape personality,” Robins said. “I have benefitted tremendously from being at UC Davis because we have one of the top personality programs in the country, and I owe a great deal of my success to the wonderful colleagues I have here. My own work focuses on the developmental origins of personality traits, with an emphasis on longitudinal studies exploring the influence of personality on delinquency, school failure, and other adolescent problems.”

Currently he co-directs the California Families Project, a longitudinal study of 674 Mexican-origin families living in Sacramento and Woodland.  Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the study examines the social, cultural, and neurobiological factors that promote the health and well-being of Mexican-origin youth. 

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