Psychology professor wins prestigious lifetime achievement award

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: May 4, 2011

Elaine Hatfield
Elaine Hatfield
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa psychology professor Elaine Hatfield was recently named recipient of the 2012 American Psychological Society's (APS) William James Award for a lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology. 
Awarded since 1989, the William James Award is a lifetime achievement award for basic research and is the highest honor conferred by APS.  Award recipients must be recognized internationally for their outstanding contributions to scientific psychology.  James was one of the most influential pioneer theorists in psychology and commonly referred to as the father of modern psychology.
Hatfield, a Mānoa resident, has been invited to give a plenary address at the APS national convention in May 2012 and will be presented a presidential citation, issued specifically for the occasion.  
She obtained a degree in English and Psychology from the University of Michigan in 1959 and PhD from Stanford University in 1963. Prior to joining the UH Mānoa faculty in 1981, Hatfield taught at the University of Minnesota, University of Rochester, University of Wisconsin and was a guest research professor at Sonderforschungsbereich 24 Mannheim in West Germany.
For more than two decades, Hatfield was judged to be the most cited social psychologist in the United States in Introductory Social Psychology texts. She has written numerous scientific books, among themA New Look at Love and Mirror, Mirror: The Importance of Looks in Everyday Life, which won the American Psychological Association and American Psychological Foundation's National Media Award.
Throughout her career, Hatfield has made major theoretical and applied contributions in at least five areas: social justice research, passionate love and sexual desire, cross-cultural studies, physical attractiveness, and emotional contagion. On the 50th anniversary of Hatfield’s graduate career, various journals asked her to write articles summarizing the current status in many of the areas she pioneered.
“My work is threaded by several themes: a commitment to social justice, a dedication to basic research, an excitement about the possibility of synthesizing the insights of a variety of disciplines, and an interest in state-of-the-art research methodologies—especially laboratory methodologies,” noted Hatfield.
Hatfield is past president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex (SSSS). In recent years, she has received Distinguished Scientist Awards (for a lifetime of scientific achievement) from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex, and the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, as well as the Alfred Kinsey Award from the Western Region of SSSS.