2014 Award WinnersFrom left to right is Valerie Purdie-Vaughns, Geoffrey Cohen, Kevin Binning, Julio Garcia, Robert Cialdini, David Sherman, and Kimberly Hartson

Started in 2008, the Robert B. Cialdini Award recognizes the author(s) of a publication that uses field methods and demonstrates relevance to outside groups. This award is designed to recognize the publication that best explicates social psychological phenomena principally through the use of field research methods and settings and that thereby demonstrates the relevance of the discipline to communities outside of academic social psychology within a given year at the SPSP Annual Convention.

Society for Personality and Social PsychologyRecipients of this award split a $2400 honorarium and each will receive an accompanying plaque, which are presented at the annual Awards Ceremony held at the SPSP Annual Convention. This award was endowed by Robert Cialdini through the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology.


The winners of the 2014 Robert B. Cialdini Award are:

David Sherman, University of California, Santa Barbara

Geoffrey Cohen, Stanford University

Kimberly Hartson, University of California, Santa Barbara

Julio Garcia, University of Colorado

Valerie Purdie-Vaughns

Kevin Binning, University of Pittsburgh

Dave Nussbaum, University of Chicago

Suzanne Taborsky-Barba, University of Colorado

Sarah Tomassetti, University of Colorado


Deflecting the trajectory and changing the narrative: How self-affirmation affects academic performance and motivation under identity threat. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104, 591-618.


This article, in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, reflects the research of the impact of positive self-affirmation on academic performance by students who were stereotyped or who felt threatened by their ethnic identity. The two groups studied were middle school student of Latino and European descent.

The results found that Latino students who participated in positive self-affirmation exercises increased their academic performance while students of European descent were unaffected. They concluded that the use of positive affirmation exercises diminished the Latino students identity threat and that this practice can be used to even the academic playing field.

Congratulations to the entire team!

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