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Lerner and Moreno Win Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)

The PECASE Award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.

Jennifer Lerner, a social psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University, and Roxana Moreno, a cognitive psychologist and education researcher at the University of New Mexico, were named this month as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Each year the National Science Foundation selects nominees for PECASE from among the most meritorious new CAREER awardees. The PECASE program recognizes outstanding scientists and engineers who, early in their careers, show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of knowledge. This Presidential Award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.

Lerner's research, which is co-funded by the NSF Social Psychology and Decision, Risk, and Management Science Programs, focuses on emotional influences in judgment and choice, with special emphasis on the influence of specific emotions on probability assessment, valuation, and attribution. Lerner also aims to disseminate knowledge about the effect of emotion on judgment and decision making, and about the larger field of behavioral decision research (BDR), to broader audiences of students, the public, and policymakers. Dissemination of the insights of BDR is especially important because it has clear practical implications for both public policy and private decisions.

Moreno applies cognitive theories to educational technology, human-computer interaction, and multimedia learning. Her research examines the cognitive processes that teachers use in solving complex problems within classrooms, and seeks to develop a case-based computer application to prepare teachers to develop and use these cognitive skills within their classes. This work is funded by the NSF ROLE Program (Research on Learning and Education). Moreno was recognized earlier this year by APA Division 15 as the recipient of the Richard E. Snow Award for Early Contributions.