2017 - Ravenna M. Helson
The Society for Personality and Social Psychology is pleased to announce Ravenna M. Helson as the 2017 Annual Convention Legacy honoree.
Ravenna M. Helson received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. She was at Smith College before moving back to Berkeley where she led the Institute of Personality Assessment and Research's project on creativity in women. In 1980, Ravenna was awarded an NIMH grant to study adult development in the women of Mills College that she had initially studied in 1958/1960. The Mills Project is a premier longitudinal study with assessments of the women in their 20s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. The 100+ publications from the Mills Project examine how personality changes (or not) in relation to social roles, socio-historical context, and critical life events. For example, one seminal contribution is the concept of the social clock project, which Ravenna used to show how personality patterns relate to the timing of work and family role commitments. More generally, two enduring themes that emerge from Ravenna’s work are (1) personality is more than “just traits” and must include a conceptualization of the whole person, and (2) personality does change and in different ways for different people depending on their life experiences. Ravenna received the 2003 Block Award.
2016 - Walter Mischel
The Society of Personality and Social Psychology is pleased to announce Walter Mischel as the 2016 SPSP Convention Legacy honoree. Mischel is the recipient of the first Legacy recognition, which is designed to honor luminary figures in social and personality psychology.
Mischel has been a leading voice in psychological science since the beginning of his long career. His work on personality and situations as causes of human behavior has been sometimes controversial, and always innovative. His sustained scholarship in this area has led to new ways to understand the person and the situation, and new ways to think about stability and change.
Equally transformative has been Mischel’s work on the psychology of self-control. This work helped put the mysterious notion of “willpower” on firm empirical ground. It has inspired generations of researchers who are daily breaking new ground in understanding self-control and the delay of gratification. Mischel’s legacy continues to shape the way we talk about fundamental human concerns, from crime and punishment, to drug addiction, to career success and educational achievement.