To encourage all SAS members to participate in the important process of recognizing the accomplishments of our members, the nomination form is very brief. We encourage self-nominations as well as nominations of others. The SAS Awards Committee especially encourages creative nominations (i.e., for individuals or teams) and will recognize multiple awardees, as fitting.
Submission Form - CLOSED
The deadline for awards submissions has now passed. The winners were announced at the annual conference.
Best Dissertation in Affective Science Award
This honor recognizes outstanding dissertation research conducted by SAS members who received their PhD (or other terminal degree) during the calendar year immediately preceding that year’s SAS meeting.
Daphne Y. Liu
Stony Brook University
For her dissertation entitled “Interpersonal emotion regulation in current and remitted major depressive disorder: An experience sampling study” that was completed at Washington University in St. Louis under the mentoring of Professor Renee J. Thompson.
Description: Extensive evidence suggests that people with major depressive disorder (MDD) have difficulty regulating emotion on their own. It is important to examine whether these difficulties extend to how they utilize social resources to regulate emotion, or interpersonal emotion regulation (IER). This dissertation examined everyday IER among adults with current MDD, those whose MDD was in remission, and adults with no current or past psychological disorders (i.e., controls) using experience sampling method. It represents initial efforts to elucidate the characteristics and utility of everyday IER at different stages of MDD and informs clinical interventions.
Sean Dae Houlihan
For his dissertation entitled “”A computational framework for emotion understanding”” that was completed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in September 2022 under the mentoring of Professors Rebecca Saxe and Josh Tenenbaum..
Description: To infer others’ emotions, people integrate perceptual information from expressions and contextual information from situations. Using a combination of behavioral paradigms and computational models, this dissertation investigated how people use event context (e.g. what happened and what could have happened) to reason about others’ emotions, expressions, actions, and experiences. A generative model simulated how people predict others’ emotions by abstracting mental state representations from social situations. The Bayesian framework captured how emotion predictions shape diverse cognitive inferences, including people’s interpretation of expressions and causal reasoning about world states. Formally modeling people’s social cognition afforded a way to learn the latent structure of emotion concepts. This work outlines a path for reverse-engineering human emotional intelligence.
Hannah S. Savage, PhD, The Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University and Radboud University Medical Center. – “The neural basis of threat and safety reversal learning in healthy subjects and patients with social anxiety disorder” that was completed at the University of Melbourne under the mentoring of Professor Ben Harrison.
Meltem Yucel, PhD, Duke University – “’No fair!’: An investigation of children’s development of fairness” that was completed at University of Virginia in May 2021 under the mentoring of Professor Amrisha Vaish.
Jennifer K. MacCormack, Ph.D.,University of Pittsburgh – “Minding the body: The role of interoception in linking physiology and emotion during stress” – Completed at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the mentoring of Professor Kristen Lindquist.
Mid-Career Trajectory in Affective Science Award
This honor celebrates the outstanding scientific impact of SAS members who received their PhD (or other terminal degree) more than 10 and fewer than 25 years prior to that year’s SAS meeting.
Naomi I. Eisenberger
University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Naomi Eisenberger’s research uses neuroimaging and health-relevant assessments to better understand the nature of emotional experiences in close social relationships as well as why social relationships are so critical for mental and physical health. Her research has explored the neural underpinnings of social pain—the painful feelings following social rejection or loss—and has shown that social pain relies on some of the same neural regions that are involved in processing physical pain. She has also explored the neural substrates associated with social connection—including the systems involved in giving and receiving social support from others. Her work also examines the bidirectional relationships between social relationships and health. For instance, she has shown that inflammation can enhance feelings of social disconnection and that certain prosocial behaviors can reduce threat-related responding including inflammatory responding. Her work has been published in top academic journals including Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Nature Neuroscience. She is currently the incoming Editor-in-Chief at Emotion.
Anthony D. Ong, PhD, Cornell University
Abigail A. Marsh, PhD, Georgetown University
The 2023 SAS Mentorship Award is bestowed to Dr. Wendy Berry Mendes. This honor recognizes her unparalleled devotion to the career development not only of her own mentees, but of countless others through contributions at the society level and beyond. Although only three letters of support were permitted, nearly twenty former trainees collaborated to support her nomination and all agreed that, through her mentorship and modeling, she has had a truly transformative influence on their development as psychological scientists and as individuals. In addition, many remarked – with absolute certainty – that they would not be here today, and myriad advances in affective science would not have been made if it wasn’t for Wendy’s mentorship.
Wendy Berry Mendes
University of California, San Francisco
Wendy is not only a patient mentor that places a high priority on the well-being of her trainees, even years after they leave her lab, but she instills in her mentees a persistence and confidence that makes anything seem possible. Wendy is also well-known for having independently created a summer training program for undergraduates that has been running annually since 2005. One of her central goals with this intensive program is to provide opportunities for students who lack access to large, high-caliber research labs. Admission to her summer program prioritizes students at non-research-intensive schools, first-generation students, and students of color, showing her commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Wendy gets to know all the interns personally—which is rare for a scholar at her level—she works hard to ensure that students have meaningful and rewarding experiences. That Wendy invested so much time in her mentees this early in their careers is a testament to her genuine passion for mentoring others in the field she loves so much. Overall, Wendy is not only an exceptional mentor, but she has been ringing the bell and blazing the path for underrepresented psychologists her entire career. Clearly, she has left an indelible mark on so many of us, and on the field as a whole, and she is most deserving of this award.
Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD, Northeastern University
James J. Gross, PhD, Stanford University