The American Psychological Foundation (APF) will honor four psychologists with its 2000 Gold Medal awards, recognizing distinguished and enduring contributions in the application, practice and science of psychology and in promoting psychology in the public interest. This year's winners are:
Harry Levinson, PhD, for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology.
Robert Perloff, PhD, for Life Achievement in Psychology in the Public Interest.
Roger Newland Shepard, PhD, for Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology.
This year's APF Gold Medal for Life Achievement in the Practice of Psychology will be announced in December.
APF President Joseph D. Matarazzo, PhD, will present the medals at the APFAPA Awards Ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 5, at 5 p.m.
Born to RussianPolish immigrant parents, Harry Levinson wanted to be a teacher from early in life. He enrolled as an undergraduate in what is now the Emporia State University.
After serving in a field artillery unit in Italy in World War II, he returned to Emporia to get his master's degree. He later studied clinical psychology in the doctoral program developed by the University of Kansas, the Menninger Clinic and the Topeka Veterans Administration Hospital.
During doctoral training, he became involved in the widely acclaimed reform of the Topeka State Hospital. Later, William Menninger asked Levinson to develop a program designed to keep well people functioning well. Such a public-health-like effort required working through organizations, so Levinson traveled around the United States to learn directly about mental health problems in industry from managers, psychologists, psychiatrists and physicians.
He discovered that what clinicians need to know about people in order to treat them was almost unknown to management. Soon he created the Division of Industrial Mental Health at the Menninger Clinic and developed seminars--for managers and physicians in industry--on psychoanalytic theory as it could be applied to leadership and the management of change. Over the years, he became regarded as the founder of psychoanalytic organizational psychology.
As part of a team, Levinson immersed himself for two years in the organizational culture of the Kansas Power and Light (KPL) Company--an experience that led him to write "Men, Management and Mental Health" (Harvard University Press, 1962). He developed the concept of the psychological contract, the unconscious expectations of employees and the organization of each other that is the basis of reciprocation or fulfillment of the contract. When the contract is being fulfilled, employee behavior reflects positive mental health. The KPL study further argued the need for a comprehensive diagnostic method for assessing organizations psychologically, so Levinson adapted Karl Menninger's psychiatric case study outline into what became "Organizational Diagnosis," a classic text that remained in print for 23 years.
Levinson has been president of the American Board of Professional Psychology and of the Kansas Psychological Association, and chair of the Kansas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. He is a founding and honorary member of the International Society for the Psychological Study of Organizations and the recipient of many awards, including the APA Award for Distinguished Contribution to Knowledge.
Public Interest award
As a boy in Philadelphia, Robert Perloff peddled newspapers, magazines and trinkets in the vicinity of Independence Hall, later assisting his mother with the family finances by working as a soda jerk, movie usher, door-to-door salesman, paper hanger and handbill distributor.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 and later received the Bronze Star Medal in Luzon, the Philippines. After World War II, the GI Bill of Rights enabled him to enroll at Temple University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1948. In 1951, he received his PhD from Ohio State University, focusing on quantitative and measurement psychology, as well as industrial psychology.
Perloff later accepted the position of a civilian supervisory research psychologist with the U.S. Army in Washington, D.C.; from there he joined Science Research Associates in Chicago, in 1955, heading their research and development effort. By 1959, he joined the industrial psychology faculty of Purdue University, where he developed the consumer psychology program.
In 1969, he accepted a position with what is now known as the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, where he remains to this day as Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Business Administration and of Psychology. There, he launched his career in evaluation research and program evaluation. He also began actively participating in APA in a number of venues, including terms as treasurer and president, as well as chair or member of many committees, boards and task forces. In addition to serving terms as APA and APF presidents, he presided over eight other national organizations, including the Association for Consumer Research, the American Evaluation Association, the Eastern Psychological Association and the Society of Psychologists in Management.
"I am proud of the battles I have been engaged in--championing the rights and dignity of women, minorities, the impoverished, the handicapped, the elderly and homosexuals," says Perloff. "Someone once said that a society is measured in terms of how it treats its underserved and unserved people, and I am proud to have striven toward the fruition of such a caring society."
Roger Newland Shepard was born in 1929. His parents, Grace N. and O. Cutler Shepard, obtained their degrees from Stanford University and lived into their 90s on the Stanford campus, where Cutler was the founding head of Stanford's Department of Materials Science.
Shepard graduated from Stanford University in 1951 and later joined the Stanford faculty. Since his 1996 retirement from teaching, Shepard, now Ray Lyman Wilbur Professor of Social Science Emeritus, continues his theoretical research and writing.
During his undergraduate studies, Shepard was captivated by the idea that a study of the mind might reveal mathematical regularities--a way of operating that has the simplicity and invariability of mathematical law or mathematical formulas not unlike those he admired in physics. After receiving his PhD at Yale in 1955, he was a postdoctoral associate for three years--first at Washington's Naval Research Laboratory and then, with George A. Miller, PhD, at Harvard University. For the next eight years, Shepard conducted basic psychological research and became the head of a department at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J. There, Shepard devised the first of a series of methods of "nonmetric" multidimensional scaling for the conversion of qualitative measures of similarity, association, correlation, confusion or generalization into quantitative distances in an abstract representational space--methods that have since found wide application in the behavioral, cognitive and social sciences.
In 1966, Shepard was appointed professor of psychology at Harvard and, in 1967, director of its Psychological Laboratories. His 30 cumulative years of research at Harvard and Stanford have benefited from the continuous support of the National Science Foundation and from the brilliant work of his graduate students and postdoctoral associates.
His contribution to the "cognitive revolution" arose from his idea that the key to objectivity, quantification and universality might not be the physical measurement of concrete, observed behaviors so much as the inference to mental structures as internalizations of abstract features of the external world. He showed that such mental structures, although hidden, are objectively discoverable through analysis of patterns in discriminative responses to appropriately chosen test stimuli.
Shepard's published works include the books "Mental Images and their Transformations," co-written with his former student Lynn Cooper (MIT Press, 1982), and "Mind Sights" (W.H. Freeman, 1990). Currently, Shepard is completing "World and Mind," a book that has evolved from several invited university lecture series.
His scientific contributions have been recognized by his elections to presidencies of the Psychometric Society (1973) and APA's Div. 3 (Experimental). He has received many other honors, including the APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award (1976) and the National Medal of Science (1995).
Ted Baroody is the assistant director of the American Psychological Foundation.