Posted 09.04.08

Plous Honored with Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award

For an “outstanding career contribution to the teaching of psychology,” Scott Plous, professor of psychology, was named the 2008 recipient of the American Psychological Foundation (APF) Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award.

Plous received the award during the 116th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association on Aug. 15. His citation read:

“This award celebrates Scott Plous as a master teacher, a developer of premier Internet resources in psychology, and a pioneer of action teaching. At Wesleyan University, Plous is known as an extraordinary lecturer and dedicated mentor of teachers. He is also the founder of Social Psychology Network, a set of innovative Web sites used each day by thousands of students and instructors. And he has advocated socially engaged ‘action teaching’ that leads not only to a better understanding of psychology but to a more just and peaceful world. Together, these efforts have had a significant influence internationally on the teaching of psychology.”

Plous was featured in the July–August 2008 issue of  American Psychologist.

According to the publication:

Plous was born on Nov. 2, 1959, in Milwaukee, Wis., and attended college at the
University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, studying psychology under Kenneth MacCorquodale, a legendary scholar and former student of B. F. Skinner. In part because of the quality of teaching and advising MacCorquodale provided, Plous graduated summa cum laude from the university with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in less than two years.

In 1981, Plous enrolled as a graduate student at Stanford University. After initially studying personality psychology, he began researching the social psychology of international conflict and became an academic advisee of Philip Zimbardo, who had won the APF Distinguished Teaching Award a few years earlier.

Following graduate school, Plous received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in International Peace and Security, which allowed him to remain at Stanford for two years as a postdoctoral fellow with offices in psychology and the Center for International Security and Cooperation. He then held a two-year visiting professorship in psychology and arms control at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign before joining the faculty at Wesleyan, where he has been since 1990.

Plous is a fellow of the American Psychological Association as well as of the Association for Psychological Science, and he has received a number of professional awards, including the 1984 Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize and the 1993 Otto Klineberg Intercultural and International Relations Award (both from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues); the 1993 William James Book Award (from the Society for General Psychology for his book The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making; the 1998 Wesleyan University Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching; and the 2004 Award for Distinguished Service to the Society (from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology).

He was also named Connecticut Professor of the Year in 2006 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Among psychology educators, Plous is perhaps best known for developing Social Psychology Network (SPN), a set of nine interlinked websites that contain a searchable open-access archive of over 15,000 resources related to psychological research, teaching, and advising. On average, the pages of these websites are visited roughly 70,000 times per day from people in over 100 countries—a cumulative total of more than 130 million page views since the network was first established.

Information provided by American Psychologist.