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Society for Philosophy
and Psychology

minding minds since 1974


Each year the SPP awards three prizes at its annual meeting.

The Stanton Prize is awarded to a young scholar in philosophy or psychology who has begun making significant contributions to interdisciplinary research and has been active in SPP. The 2024 Stanton Prize was awarded to Tobias Gerstenberg (Department of Psychology, Stanford University).

The William James Prize is awarded to the best graduate student submission/talk. The 2024 William James Prize was awarded to Tal Boger (Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins University) for his talk "The Psychophysics of Style."

The Poster Prize is awarded for the best poster(s). In 2024, the recipients were Nathaniel Braswell (Department of Psychology, Yale University), Chaz Firestone (Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins University), and Nicolò Cesana-Arlotti (Department of Psychology, Yale University) for their poster "Logic Beyond Language: Spontaneous and Irresistible Logical Inferences in Visual Scene Processing".

The Stanton award is presented in honor Harry and Betty Stanton of Bradford Books/The MIT Press. The executive committee selects the winner of the Stanton Prize. SPP members are invited to send nominations for the prize to the chair of the Stanton Prize committee (typically, the winner of the previous year's prize).

William James and Poster Prize winners are chosen by an ad hoc committee appointed by the president in consultation with the executive committee. The process for selecting Stanton Prize winners is described below.


Stanton Prize Procedures

A 'prize coordinator' will be appointed by the executive committee, who may or may not be a member of the executive committee, and who will have primary responsibility for implementing the following procedures:

1) The prize coordinator will send out a call for nominations to the entire SPP membership by email, and further calls as they judge appropriate. The call for nominations will provide information about the prize and procedures for nomination, and will specify a closing date, which should be at least two weeks from the time of the first call for nominations. If, either at the time of closing or during the week prior to closing, it is felt that insufficient nominations have been received or that the nominations received to date are not of adequate quality, then the coordinator should seek the approval of the executive committee to send out a revised call with a later closing date. The revised closing date should be no later than one week after the sending out of the revised call.

2) A nominations will consist of the following, to be sent by email no later than midnight EST on the closing date:  (a) A brief statement of no more than 300 words describing: (i) the contributions of the candidate to interdisciplinary research in psychology and philosophy, or related disciplines (ii) the career stage of the candidate, and (iii) the candidates past participation in the SPP. This statement may be supplied by a nominator or by the candidate themselves.  (b) The candidate should provide a full and current CV attached as a separate file (.doc or .pdf).  (c) A single sentence sent by email from an SPP member in good standing stating that they nominate the candidate and giving their full name. (d) A separate email from the candidate which must (i) state that they wish to be considered a candidate for the prize, (ii) endorse the accuracy of the nominating statement, and (iii) provide a clear and unqualified commitment to attend that year's meeting and give a talk if they are awarded the prize.

3) If a nomination is received that is incomplete or does not otherwise meet the guidelines specified in (2), then the prize coordinator may, at their discretion, either reject the nomination outright, or they may inform the nominator and the candidate of the situation and invite them to correct the problem by a given deadline.

4) The prize coordinator will then send an email to the executive committee containing the names and statements of all properly nominated candidates, and offer to supply the full CVs of candidates on request, or supply a link to a website where they are posted. This should be done one week prior to the vote to allow time for discussion.

5) The 'executive committee', each of whom have a right to vote for the prize, is understood to consist of: the regular members of the executive committee, the past president, the current president, the president elect and the treasurer.

6) The prize coordinator will then send an email reminding the executive committee of the voting procedure and soliciting their votes. The committee members should be given at least two days to return their vote by email. The deadline for votes should be stated in the email, and may be extended by the voting coordinator at their discretion. The winner will be determined by a scoring system as follows: If the number of nominees is n then each member of the executive committee should produce an ordered list of candidates with a minimum length of one and a maximum length of (n-2). In other words, if there are just two or three nominees, then everyone would simply have a single vote. If there are four nominees then each member of the committee would list their preferred two candidates in order of preference. The first would receive 2 points, the second 1 point. If a member lists only one, then that person would receive 2 points. If there are five nominees, each committee member can provide an ordered list of up to three candidates, the first receiving 3 points, the second 2 points, the last 1 point. It should be clear how this would scale up.

7) In the event of a draw, a second vote will be held in which only the top drawing candidates will be considered, and in which each voting member will have a single vote. If this procedure yields a second draw, the president will have the right to select a winner from amongst the candidates who drew in the second election.

8) The prize coordinator will contact the nominated winner and have a conversation with them about their availability to attend the meeting to give a talk. The prize coordinator will then email a summary of the votes to the committee and provide them with a summary of this conversation. If any difficulties, logistic, expense related, or otherwise, have surfaced then the executive committee will have an opportunity to air their views on how best to proceed.

9) If the nominated winner withdraws then it will usually be understood that the next highest scoring candidate will be considered the winner. However, any member of the committee and/or the prize coordinator may propose that second election be held, with or without a further round of nominations. This will proceed only if a majority of the executive committee assents. At any time during this process any member of the executive committee and/or the prize coordinator may call for a vote to withhold the prize for that year. If a majority of the executive committee assents, then the prize will be held over until the next year.


Past Winners

Stanton Prize

2024, Tobias Gerstenberg (Department of Psychology, Stanford University)

2023, Eric Mandelbaum (Department of Philosophy and Department of Psychology, City University of New York)

2022, Chaz Firestone (Psychological and Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins University)

2021, Jonathan Phillips (Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College)

2020, Marjorie Rhodes (Psychology, New York University)

2019, Chandra Sripada (Psychiatry and Philosophy, University of Michigan)

2018, Kiley Hamlin, (Psychology, University of British Columbia)

2017, Felipe De Brigard, (Philosophy, Duke University)

2016, Liane Young, (Psychology, Boston College)

2015, Sarah-Jane Leslie, (Philosophy, Princeton)

2014, Fiery Cushman, (Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences, Brown)

2013, Edouard Machery, (Philosophy and HPS, Pittsburgh)

2012, Joshua Greene, (Psychology, Harvard)

2011, Adina Roskies (Philosophy, Dartmouth)

2010, Tania Lombrozo (Psychology, UC Berkeley)

2009, Joshua Knobe (Philosophy, Yale University)

2008, Laurie Santos (Psychology, Yale University)

2007, John Doris (PNP, Washington University, St. Louis)

2006, Fei Xu (Psychology, University of British Columbia)

2005, Shaun Nichols (Philosophy, University of Arizona)

2004, David Chalmers (Philosophy, Australian National University)

2003, Jesse Prinz (Philosophy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

2002, Paul Bloom (Psychology, Yale University)

2001, Kathleen Akins (Philosophy, Simon Frasier University)


William James Prize

2024, Tal Boger (Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins University)
The psychophysics of style

2023, Edvard Aviles Meza (Philosophy, Cornell University)
Imagination without awareness

2022, Brian Leahy (Psychology, Harvard University)
Minimal representations of possibility at age 3

2021, Joan Ongchoco (Psychology, Yale University)
Figments of imagination

2020, Chenxiao Guan (Psychology, Johns Hopkins University)
The perception of possibility

2019, April Bailey (Psychology, Yale University)
Essential biology, essential values: Distinct or all cut from the same cloth?

2018, Adam Morris (Psychology, Harvard University)
Judgments of actual causation approximate the effectiveness of interventions

2017, Max Kleiman-Weiner (Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT)
Learning a Commonsense Moral Theory

2016, Jake Quilty-Dunn (Philosophy, CUNY Graduate Center)
Representational Format and the Perception-Cognition Border.

2015, Adam Bear (Psychology, Yale University)
Did You Choose the Red Circle? A Simple Task Uncovers a Postdictive Illusion of Choice.

2013, Chaz Firestone (Psychology, Yale University)
Top-down Effects Where None Should Be Found: The ElGreco Fallacy in Perception Research.

2012, Joseph McCaffrey (History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh)
Reconceiving Conceptual Vehicles: Lessons from Semantic Dementia

2011, Victor Kumar (Philosophy, University of Arizona, co-authored with Richmond Campbell)
On the Normative Significance of Moral Psychology

2010, Nadia Chernyak (Psychology, Cornell University, co-authored with Tamar Kushnir)
Developing Notions of Free Will: Preschoolers' Understanding of How Intangible Constraints Bind Their Freedom of Choice

2009, Justin Sytsma and Jonathan Livengood (History & Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh)
A New Perspective Concerning Experiments on Semantic Intuitions

2008, Justin Sytsma (History & Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh)
Two Conceptions of Subjective Experience

2007, Chad Gonnerman (Philosophy, Indiana University)
What Do We See in Others? An Empirical Follow-up to Knobe and Roedder

2006, Liane Young (Psychology, Harvard University)
Moral Judgment is More Consequentialist in Individuals with Ventromedial Prefrontal Damage

2005, Adam Shriver (Philosophy, Texas A&M Univ.; Washington University, St. Louis)
Neural Correlates of Suffering

2004, Tania Lombrozo (Psychology, Harvard)
Teleological Explanation: Causal Constraints and Regularities

2004, Justin Fisher (Philosophy, Arizona)
Does Simulation Theory Really Involve Simulation?

2003, Reese M. Heitner (Philosophy & Linguistics, The Graduate Center, City University of New York)
The Cyclical Ontogeny of Ontology: An Integrated Developmental Account of Object and Speech Categorization

2002, Adina Roskies (Philosophy, MIT)
Are Ethical Judgments Intrinsically Motivational? Lessons from 'acquired sociopathy'

2001, Jonathan Weinberg (Philosophy, Rutgers)
Conceptual Analysis and the Diversity of Intuitions

2000, Pete Mandik (Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program, Washington University , St. Louis)
Physical Subjectivity: Points of View from the Brain's Eye View

1999, Stephanie Beardman (Philosophy, Rutgers)
The Choice Between Actual and Remembered Pain

1998, Pete Mandik, (Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program, Washington University, St. Louis)
Action and Experience: Motor Control and Spatial Qualia

1997, Brian Scholl (Center for Cognitive Science, Rutgers)
Cognitive Architecture and Cognitive Development: Two Senses of 'Surprise'


Poster Prize

2024, Nathaniel Braswell (Department of Psychology, Yale University), Chaz Firestone (Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins University), and Nicolò Cesana-Arlotti (Department of Psychology, Yale University) for "Logic Beyond Language: Spontaneous and Irresistible Logical Inferences in Visual Scene Processing"

2023, Kerem Oktar (Psychology, Princeton University) for "Philosophy Instruction Changes Views on Moral Controversies by Decreasing Reliance on Intuition"

Aarthi Popat (Psychology, UCSD), Jamie Amemiya (Psychology, University of Chicago), Gail Heyman (Psychology, UCSD), & Caren Walker (Psychology, UCSD) for "'The Hair Club for Boys': How people reason about disparate impact rules"

2022, Lara Kirfel (Psychology, Stanford University) & Ivar Hannikainen (Philosophy, University of Granada) for "Why blame the ostrich? Understanding culpability for willful ignorance"

Levin Guver (Law, University of Zurich) & Marcus Kneer (Philosophy, University of Zurich) for "Causation, norms, and foreseeability"

Ethan Landes (Philosophy, University of Zurich) for "Conceptual engineering, semantic externalism, and experimental philosophy"

2021, Jan García Olier and Markus Kneer (Philosophy, University of Zurich) for "The 'Knobe effect' as an instance of a 'severity effect'"

Umang Khan and Christina Starmans (Psychology, University of Toronto) for "Mission Improbable: Children's Understanding of Possibility in the Past and Future"

2019, Matthew Taylor, David Rose, and Christopher Kalbach (Philosophy, Florida State University) for "Teleology and Personal Identity."

Nikolina Cetic and Zachary Irving (Philosophy, University of Virginia) for "Mind-Wandering Makes Us Free."

Austin A. Baker, Jorge Morales, and Chaz Firestone (Psychology, Johns Hopkins University) for "You're my doctor?": Social stereotypes impair recognition of incidental visual features."

2018, Monica Burns (Psychology, Harvard Univeristy) & Felix Warneken (Psychology, University of Michigan) for "Implicit Fairness Preferences in Adults and Children."

Mariel Goddu & Alison Gopnik (Psychology, UC Berkeley) for "Young Children Rationally Use Evidence to Select Causally Relevant Variables for Intervention."

2017, Sydney Levine, Talia Waltzer, and Alan Leslie (Psychology, Rutgers University) for "The Role of Choice in Moral Permissibility."

2016, Kristan Marchak and D. Geoffrey Hall (University of British Columbia) for "What's in a name? How to reidentify the Ship of Theseus."

2015, Jessica Black and Jennifer Barnes (Psychology, University of Oklahoma) for "The Reality of Imaginary Evil: Providing Empirical Evidence of Imaginative Resistance."

2013, Caren Walker (Psychology, UC Berkeley), with Tania Lombrozo, Cristine Legare, and Alison Gopnik for "Explanation, Projectibility and Causal Learning."

2012, Sydney Levine (Philosophy, Rutgers) and David Rose (Philosophy, Rutgers) for " Harm, Affect, and the Moral/Conventional Distinction: Revisited."

Jonathan Phillips (Philosophy, Yale) and Liane Young (Psychology, Boston College) for "Resolving the Paradox of Moral Focus: Why You Forced Him To Do it Even Though He Wasn’t Forced To."

2011, Brian Edwards (Psychology, Northwestern University) and Lance Rips (Psychology, Northwestern University) for "Counterfactual States and Explanatory Search"

2010, Kevin Uttich and Tania Lombrozo (UC Berkeley) for "Reversing The Side-Effect Effect: A Rational Explanation"

2009, Robert Lurz (Brooklyn College, CUNY) for "If Chimpanzees are Mindreaders, Could Behavioral Science Tell?"

2008, S. Kate Devitt (Rutgers University) for "Remembering Beliefs"

Jonathan Weinberg, Joshua Alexander and Chad Gonnerman (Indiana University) for "Unstable Intuitions and Need for Cognition: How Being Thoughtful Sometimes Just Means Being Wrong in a Different Way"

2007, Deena Skolnick Weisberg (Yale University) for "The Origin of Imaginary Companions"

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