IUPsyS honors scientists

Cape Town, 20th July 2012

International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS) honors outstanding scientists

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The President of the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS), Professor Rainer K. Silbereisen and Past-President Professor J. Bruce Overmier, today revealed the names of five scientists who will receive the IUPsyS awards for the year 2012. The five awards, which honor outstanding achievements at the frontiers of science and meritorious commitment to humanity, are presented every four years. The awards embody the high priority IUPsyS places on developing, representing and advancing Psychology as a basic and applied science. Nominations for the awards were received from around the globe and recipients recommended to IUPsyS by juries of renowned experts.

 “It is impressive to see the enormous impact of the award recipients’ work in serving humanity,” said Rainer Silbereisen.

The award ceremonies will be held during the 30th International Congress of Psychology (ICP), July 22-27, 2012, in Cape Town, South Africa.

IUPsyS Lifetime Career Award:
Professor Emeritus Albert Bandura, Stanford University, USA

The IUPsyS Lifetime Career Award honors distinguished and enduring lifetime contributions to international cooperation and advancement of knowledge in the field of psychological science.

During his professional career of 60 years, Albert Bandura conducted ground-breaking research that has had a fundamental impact on our understanding of the origins of aggressive behavior in children. His work, which includes his ‘social learning theory’, provided the foundations for a revolution in cognitive psychology during the 20th century, which has influenced psychology ever since. “Professor Bandura’s contributions to psychological science are amongst the most significant in the field”, explains IUPsyS President Rainer Silbereisen and adds: “He created the social cognitive theory and defined the construct of self-efficacy. His research has benefitted areas of societal importance such as education, social skills development, business, health promotion and sport. Albert Banduras work inspired us, he really served the humanity.”
Besides Sigmund Freud, B. F. Skinner and Jean Piaget, he is the fourth most cited psychologist in the field.

The award ceremony will be held in Cape Town at the 30th International Congress of Psychology (ICP) on 23 July 2012, International Convention Centre, Auditorium 2 (31), 11:00-12:00.

Further information:
Background information and images will be available from July 20th at

Fondation Mattei Dogan Prize in Psychological Science:
Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith, Birkbeck University of London, UK
The Fondation Mattei Dogan Prize recognizes a contribution that represents a major advancement in psychology by a scholar or team of scholars of high international reputation. The prize is supported by the Mattei Dogan Foundation, Paris.

Annette Karmiloff-Smith is one of the few researchers in the world who integrates psychology, genetics and neuroscience with computational modeling in order to produce a coherent picture of cognitive development in language, communication, number, face processing, problem solving etc. “When she is working on a typical development, she always wants to ask what the developmental explanation is. In her research of cross-syndrome comparisons for example she traces cognitive-level deficits back to their origins in infancy”, says IUPsyS President Rainer Silbereisen. “She is an international scholar and scientist who, for the past 30 years, has been working at the intersections between educational and developmental psychology, cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, and linguistics.”

The award ceremony will be held in Cape Town at the 30th International Congress of Psychology (ICP) on 25 July 2012, International Convention Centre, Auditorium 2 (31), 11:00-12:00.
Further information:
Background information and images will be available from July 20th at

IUPsyS Achievement against the Odds Award
Dr Sathasivan (Saths) Cooper, Previously Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Durban-Westville
The Achievement Against the Odds Award honors a researcher or team of researchers who succeeded in conducting research under extremely difficult circumstances.

Despite suffering extreme personal hardship and risk, including imprisonment during the years of apartheid, Saths Cooper has succeeded, during his long career, in making a significant contribution to psychology in South Africa. “Dr Cooper is recognized as one of the key psychology leaders to have restored credibility to South African psychology, after years of isolation brought about by Psychology's historical association with the system of Apartheid,” says IUPsyS President Rainer Silbereisen. His undergraduate studies were abruptly ended in 1969 when he was rusticated from the University College Durban for his unwavering opposition to the creation of an ethnic University that would grant its own degrees. He was put under house arrest and jailed for a total of nine years. In 1998, he was declared a ‘victim of gross human rights violations’ by South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Cooper is still actively working to enhance the international standing of African psychological research and increase its contribution to the field at a global level.

The award ceremony will be held in Cape Town at the 30th International Congress of Psychology (ICP) on 26 July 2012, International Convention Centre, Auditorium 2 (31), 11:00-12:00.
Further information
Background information and images will be available from July 20th at

IUPsyS Young Investigator Awards
The two Young Investigator Awards recognize young post-doctoral scientists who have already made a significant contribution to psychological science. One prize is awarded to a young investigator within basic science, the second one to a young researcher working within applied science.

IUPsyS Young Investigator Award (Applied Science)
Dr Naomi I. Eisenberger, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Naomi Eisenberger’s work addresses the question of why our social relationships have such a profound impact on our emotional and physical wellbeing. She uses behavioral, physiological, and neuro-imaging techniques to understand how our need for social connection leaves its mark on our minds, brains, and bodies. The topics of her research include the neural basis of social rejections and connection, and the benefits of social support to physical and mental health. “We honor Naomi I. Eisenberger for her creative, insightful, and landmark observations about research pertaining to ostracism/rejection and social pain, and their impact on the brain”, explains IUPsyS President Rainer Silbereisen.

IUPsyS Young Investigator Award (Basic Science)
Dr William Cunningham, University of Toronto, Canada
Will Cunningham’s primary interest is how the mind represents value: how we learn what is good and bad, and how we make assessments of ourselves, others, events, objects and ideas. Dr Cunningham is unique in using highly effective combinations of behavioral measures, indicators of neural responses and computational approaches to tackle questions of moral decision-making as they play out in intergroup and interpersonal relations. “His work uniquely and innovatively synthesizes cutting-edge theory and methodology in social, cognitive, and neurological dimensions of psychological science”, says IUPsyS President Rainer Silbereisen.

The award ceremony will be held in Cape Town at the 30th International Congress of Psychology (ICP) on 26 July 2012, Westin Hotel, Westin Ballroom East, 12:30-13:00.
Further information:
Background information and images will be available from July 20th at

IUPsyS: The International Union of Psychological Science:
IUPsyS is dedicated to the development, representation and advancement of psychology as a basic and applied science nationally, regionally and internationally. Founded in 1951, it now includes over 70 national psychological associations and speaks on behalf of over half a million psychologists worldwide regarding all aspects of psychological science. It represents psychology in global science bodies (it is a member of the International Council for Science, ICSU, and the International Social Science Council, ISSC) and collaborates with key global agencies (such as WHO and the UN) and with other international psychology bodies.

Further information:
IUPsyS: http://www.iupsys.net
ICP 2012: http://www.icp2012.com

Susanne Milde, milde@mildemarketing.de, phone: +49 331 583 93 54