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For immediate release: December 5, 2002

Contacts: Eric Quiñones (609) 258-3601, quinones@princeton.edu
Steven Barnes (609) 258-5094, sbarnes@princeton.edu

Daniel Kahneman receives Grawemeyer psychology award

Nobel laureate honored for outstanding contributions to field of psychology

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Daniel Kahneman, a Princeton University psychology professor and a recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize in economic sciences, has earned the 2003 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology. Kahneman's former colleague, Amos Tversky, who was a professor of psychology at Stanford University, shared the 2003 award posthumously. The $200,000 prize recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of psychology.

Kahneman has been the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and professor of public affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University since 1993.

Working as a team for nearly three decades, Kahneman and Tversky revolutionized the scientific approach to decision-making, ultimately affecting all social sciences and many related disciplines. Kahneman and Tversky demonstrated in experiments that normative mathematical models of probability and choice don't account for most intuitive human judgments and decisions. Instead, a series of psychological principles, often leading to simplification of a problem, guide human behavior in the face of uncertainty. By identifying biases that guide human judgment, Kahneman and Tversky have impacted fields such as economics and medicine.

"I am, of course, very happy to be the recipient of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award. Naturally, my joy is mixed with the sadness of not being able to share the experience with Amos Tversky, with whom the work was done," Kahneman commented. "The decision to make a joint award to a team when one of its members is deceased is an unusual one, and I hope that its significance will be appreciated. Great collaborations are rare and precious events, and joint recognition of joint achievements is one way to protect and promote them.

"Ours is the third consecutive collaboration that has been recognized by the Grawemeyer Prize in Psychology, and I am proud that Amos Tversky and I were chosen to follow two other teams that pulled off the difficult trick of joint creation," he added.

As a result of their work, Kahneman and Tversky are among the most frequently cited authors in behavioral science. "It is difficult to identify a more influential idea than that of Kahneman and Tversky in the human sciences," the Grawemeyer committee noted.

In October, Kahneman was awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in economic sciences for his pioneering work integrating psychological research into economics. Vernon Smith, a professor of economics and law at George Mason University, shared the award.

Born in 1934 in Tel Aviv, Israel, Kahneman received his bachelor's degree in psychology and mathematics from Hebrew University and his Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley in 1961. He taught at Hebrew University from 1961 to 1978 and at the University of British Columbia from 1978 to 1986. From 1986 to 1994, he was a professor at the University of California-Berkeley.

Amos Tversky died in 1996, while serving as the Davis Brack Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University.

About the Grawemeyer awards

The Grawemeyer awards are the first major international prizes to honor powerful ideas in the arts and sciences rather than personal achievements. The Grawemeyer Foundation at the University of Louisville awards $1 million each year: $200,000 each for music composition, education, ideas improving world order, religion and psychology. An initial endowment of $9 million funded the awards. The prize for psychology was first awarded in 2000. The selection process includes a jury of professionals from each discipline and a knowledgeable lay panel. The late Charles Grawemeyer was an industrialist, entrepreneur and University of Louisville graduate who had a life-long passion for music, education and religious studies. For more information, please go to www.grawemeyer.org.

Editors: Photographs are available at: http://www.princeton.edu/pr/pictures/g-k/kahneman/