Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

Scheduled for presentation in 2024, recipients will be announced in January 2024. To get awards news straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for our Connect with Awards newsletter.

About the Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

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.

Most Recent Recipients


Mahzarin Rustum Banaji, Harvard University, and Dan Jurafsky, Stanford University, received the 2022 Atkinson Prizes in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences. 

Banaji is recognized for her groundbreaking contributions to understanding implicit social cognition. Her research has helped establish and quantify the role that unconscious processes play in governing human social actions and judgments of others.  

Her landmark collaborative research defined implicit social cognition, introduced the term “implicit bias,” and developed the Implicit Association Test. Read more about Banaji's work»

Jurafsky has made landmark contributions to computational linguistics and its application to modeling the social, interactional, and cognitive aspects of human language and its processing.

His interdisciplinary approach to fundamental research questions – forging links between the study of human language processing and machine language processing, the processing of spoken and written language, the cognitive and the social, and ranging from individual sounds to entire discourses – has pushed the boundaries of computational psycholinguistics. Read more about Jurafsky's work»


Mahzarin Rustum Banaji (2022)
For her pioneering work in establishing and quantifying the role that unconscious processes play in governing human social actions and judgments of others.
Read more about Banaji's work»
Watch Banaji's acceptance speech»

Dan Jurafsky (2022)
For his groundbreaking contributions to computational linguistics and the sociology of language with significant applications to machine learning, artificial intelligence, and social justice.  
Read more about Jurafsky's work»
Watch Jurafsky's acceptance speech»

Richard N. Aslin (2020)
For his groundbreaking innovations and seminal contributions to the field of infancy, from visual and perceptual development to early language acquisition and, most recently, to brain imaging in infants; and also for his outstanding advocacy and support for women in science.
Read more about Aslin's work»
Watch Aslin's acceptance speech»

Susan Elizabeth Carey (2020)
For her discoveries of the mechanisms by which core cognition undergoes conceptual change in childhood and over history, thereby revolutionizing our understanding of how humans construct an understanding of objects, number, living kinds, and the physical world.
Read more about Carey's work»
Watch Carey's acceptance speech»

Barbara Dosher (2018)
For her groundbreaking experimental and theoretical work using elegant computational models and novel psychophysical techniques to reveal the nature of processes controlling human memory, search, perceptual attention, and perceptual learning.
Read more about Dosher's work»
Watch Dosher's acceptance speech»

Richard M. Shiffrin (2018)
For his pioneering contributions to the empirical and theoretical investigation of short- and long-term memory, controlled and automatic attention, the co-evolution of general knowledge and event memory, and the field of cognitive science.
Read more about Shiffrin's work»
Watch Shiffrin's acceptance speech»

John R. Anderson (2016)
For foundational contributions to systematic theory and optimality analysis in cognitive and psychological science and for developing effective, theory-based cognitive tutors for education.
Read more about Anderson's work»
Watch Anderson's acceptance speech»

Carol S. Dweck (2016)
For her groundbreaking work documenting that the implicit theories people hold about human abilities and traits have profound consequences for their perseverance, resilience, and achievement.
Read more about Dweck's work»
Watch Dweck's acceptance speech»

James L. McClelland (2014)
For seminal contributions to the empirical investigation and theoretical characterization of human perception, learning, memory, language and other basic mental processes through detailed, precise connectionist neural-network modeling.
Watch McClelland's acceptance speech»

Elizabeth S. Spelke (2014)
For her groundbreaking studies of infant perception, infant representations of number, and infant knowledge of the physical and social world, as well as studies of continuity and discontinuity in ontogeny.
Watch Spelke's acceptance speech»

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