Susan T. Fiske
Fellow: Awarded 2009
Field of Study: Psychology
Competition: US & Canada
Susan T. Fiske is Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology at Princeton University. She received a Ph.D. from Harvard University and honorary doctorates from the Université catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, and Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands. Ms. Fiske has just finished a third edition of Social Cognition, which she wrote with Shelley E. Taylor, on how people make sense of each other. She has also written more than 200 articles and chapters, as well as editing many books and journal special issues. Notably, she edits the Annual Review of Psychology (with Daniel L. Schacter and Robert Sternberg) and the Handbook of Social Psychology (with Daniel T. Gilbert and Gardner Lindzey). She also wrote an upper-level integrative text, Social Beings: A Core Motives Approach to Social Psychology (2004, 2010) and edited, with Eugene Borgida, Beyond Common Sense: Psychological Science in the Courtroom (2008). Her Guggenheim project focuses on Envy up, Scorn Down: How Status Divides us from Each Other.
Currently, she investigates emotional prejudices (pity, contempt, envy, and pride) at cultural, interpersonal, and neural levels, research currently funded by the Russell Sage Foundation (2008-10) and previously funded by the National Science Foundation (1984-86, 1995-97) and the National Institutes of Health (1986-95). Her expert testimony in discrimination cases was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1989 landmark decision on gender bias. In 1998, she testified before President Clinton’s Race Initiative Advisory Board, and in 2001-03, she coauthored a National Academy of Science report on methods of measuring discrimination. In 2004, she published a Science article explaining how ordinary people can torture enemy prisoners, through processes of prejudice and social influence.
Most recently, she won the Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award from the American Psychological Association and the William James Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science. Previously, she won the American Psychological Association’s Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest for antidiscrimination testimony and she shared the Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues’ Allport Intergroup Relations Award for ambivalent sexism theory with Peter Glick, as well as Harvard’s Graduate Centennial Medal. She was elected President of several scientific societies: the Association for Psychological Science, the Foundation for the Advancement of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology; she was also elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her expert witness work has familiarized her with workplace discrimination in settings from shipyards and assembly lines to international investment firms, and she has served on diversity committees in several nonprofit settings, including Princeton’s Carl A. Fields Center.
She grew up in Chicago’s Hyde Park, a stable, racially integrated community, and still wonders why the rest of the world does not work that way.