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Carey Atkinson Banner

Susan Elizabeth Carey of Harvard University received the 2020 Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences.

Carey’s research examines the fundamental question of how humans construct knowledge through processes such as face processing, social cognition, numerical representation, word learning, counting, and explanation. Her studies in all of these areas have culminated in a grand theory of conceptual change, which she detailed in her book, The Origins of Concepts.

This theory has revolutionized our understanding of how humans construct an understanding of objects, number, living kinds, and the physical world. 

Individually and with her collaborators, Carey’s work has given also rise to numerous new programs of research, including “fast-mapping,” “extended mapping” and “folk theories.”

Throughout her career, Carey has tirelessly served as a mentor to the next generations of scientists. She has guided hundreds of students, dozens of whom have gone on to full tenure tracks and their own influential careers. 

The Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences (formerly the NAS Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences) is presented to honor significant advances in the psychological and cognitive sciences with important implications for formal and systematic theory in these fields. Two prizes of $100,000 are presented biennially. The prize was established by Richard C. Atkinson in 2013.


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Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences »

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