Rice professor honored for lifetime contributions to psychology

Eduardo Salas, the Allyn R. and Gladys M. Cline Chair and Professor of Psychology, has received the American Psychological Association’s Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology – the organization’s highest honor. Salas accepted the award Aug. 6 at the APA’s annual convention in Denver.

Eduardo Salas

Eduardo Salas

The prize is given at the discretion of the APA president. Current President Susan McDaniel said, “I chose Dr. Salas for his contributions resulting from three decades of studying the elements of effective team functioning. This comes at a time when collaboration and teamwork are the foundation of the corporate world, healthcare, aeronautics, science, and the arts. ”

“I was so surprised after receiving the news,” Salas said. “I never imagined that this was even a possibility or within my reach – amazing! Previous winners include B.F. Skinner, Albert Bandura and other great minds in psychology, and I am very humbled to be in the company of these giants.”

A member of Rice’s faculty since 2015, Salas has specialized in research on training, including what facilitates teamwork and team effectiveness in organizations; how and why team training works; how to optimize simulation-based training; how to design, implement and evaluate training and development systems; and generating evidence-based guidance for training and development systems in practice.

Over his career, Salas has received more than $50 million in grant funding from the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Department of Defense, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Office of Naval Research. A former president of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) and of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, he has been a co-recipient of four M. Scott Myers awards, SIOP’s highest recognition for applied research. He has also received SIOP’s Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award and SHRM’s Michael R. Losey Human Resource Research Award for his work on teamwork and training.

APA is the world’s largest association of psychologists, with more than 117,500 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students among its members. For more information, visit www.apa.org.

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.