Roy Baumeister receives 2013 lifetime achievement award from Association for Psychological Science

| Fri, 08/17/12

The year 2013 is shaping up to be a good one for Roy Baumeister—and it’s not even here yet.

Baumeister, the Francis Eppes Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, has received a 2013 William James Fellow Award, a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to the basic science of psychology. There are two other winners as well.

“It is the highest honor given by the Association for Psychological Science [APS] across all fields of psychology,” the FSU psychology department website says.

“This is a great honor for me, but it also reflects really well on Florida State,” Baumeister says. “I’ve had a tremendously productive 10 years here, thanks to the facilities, the colleagues, and especially the many wonderful graduate students who have worked with me to conduct and publish so many studies.

“None of this would have happened without them,” Baumeister says. “Now some of them are winning awards too, and I’m really happy to see how far our new social psychology program has come in a short time.”

Baumeister has also been named president-elect of the Society for the Study of Motivation, meaning that he will become president at the group’s May 2013 meeting.

“Both of these recent honors confirm further what we already know about Roy—he is a prolific scholar of very high quality,” says Sam Huckaba, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Baumeister’s achievements and publications are daunting. In all, he is author of 499 publications at last count, including 30 books. His 28th book, 2011’s Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, co-authored with New York Times science writer John Tierney, was a Times best-seller, as well as one of Amazon’s Best Books of 2011.

Willpower is an immensely rewarding book, filled with ingenious research, wise advice and insightful reflections on the human condition,” says Harvard psychologist and author Steven Pinker.

Baumeister has done research on many topics besides self-control, including decision-making, the need to belong, human sexuality, free will, and self-defeating behavior (or, as he puts it “why people do stupid things”).

In 2011, he received a lifetime career achievement award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

Baumeister’s most recent lifetime award is named after William James, a pioneering Harvard psychologist and philosopher who was a physician by training. James, who died in 1910, was the brother of novelist Henry James and the godson of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The James award will be officially presented in Washington, D.C., at the APS’s May 2013 annual convention. The others receiving the award are neuroscientist Helen Neville of the University of Oregon and social psychologist Gerald Clore of the University of Virginia.