To encourage all SAS members to participate in the important process of recognizing the accomplishments of our members, the nomination form is very brief.  We encourage self-nominations as well as nominations of others. The SAS Awards Committee especially encourages creative nominations (i.e., for individuals or teams) and will recognize multiple awardees, as fitting.

2022 call for nominations is now open. Please fill out the form linked on the left menu bar.

Nominations close December 6th, 2021.

This honor recognizes outstanding dissertation research conducted by SAS members who received their PhD (or other terminal degree) during the calendar year immediately preceding that year’s SAS meeting.

This honor recognizes scientific contributions and early evidence of impact for SAS members who received their PhD (or other terminal degree) fewer than 10 years prior to that year’s SAS meeting. 

This honor celebrates the outstanding scientific impact of SAS members who received their PhD (or other terminal degree) more than 10 and fewer than 25 years prior to that year’s SAS meeting.

This honor recognizes individuals or teams at any career stage for innovative advances in affective science that build on interdisciplinary collaborations or the scientific fusion of perspectives and methods across disciplines or subdisciplines. 

This honor recognizes individuals at any career stage who have demonstrated sustained commitment to the professional and intellectual development of students and early-career researchers. 

2021 Award Recipients

Best Dissertation in Affective Science Award
Jennifer K. MacCormack
, Ph.D.,University of Pittsburgh

For her dissertation entitled “Minding the body: The role of interoception in linking physiology and emotion during stress” that was completed at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the mentoring of Professor Kristen Lindquist.

Description: Interoception is a popular yet less understood construct in affective science, with most measures studied in isolation or without consideration of individual differences in physiological reactivity. Using a large sample, multi-methods, and advanced statistical modeling, this dissertation tested which facets of interoception (ability, sensibility, beliefs) may uniquely moderate the relation between physiological reactivity and subjective stress (emotion, somatic sensations). In particular, this work found that positive interoceptive beliefs can buffer against the deleterious effects of physiological reactivity and poor interoceptive ability in the context of acute stress—paving the way for new questions on mind-body relations in emotional experience.

Early-Career in Affective Science Award
Katharine H. Greenaway, Ph.D., University of Melbourne

Dr. Katie Greenaway is a leading early-career affective scientist, whose research focuses on the affective antecedents and consequences of social connection. Specifically, Dr. Greenaway has led two complementary lines of research that have shaped our field’s understanding of the role of emotions in social processes. First, her work exploring how emotions shape social connections, focusing on how emotion can be regulated to create social harmony or social distance, has made important contributions to our understanding of emotional expression and suppression. This work challenged basic assumptions about positive emotion expression and suppression, showing that expressing positive emotion can have social costs and suppressing positive emotion can have social benefits. Second, Dr. Greenaway’s research has explored how and why social groups improve emotional health and well-being. In this line of work, she has identified mechanisms through which social connections affect emotional well-being, for example, by demonstrating that feeling connected to social groups enhances feelings of personal control, and partly through this process reduces depression and increase life satisfaction.

Three representative publications:

Greenaway, K. H., Kalokerinos, E. K., & Williams, L. A. (2018). Context is everything (in emotion research). Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 12(6), e12393.

Greenaway, K. H., & Kalokerinos, E. K. (2017). Suppress for success? Exploring the contexts in which expressing positive emotion can have social costs. European Review of Social Psychology, 28(1), 134-174.

Greenaway, K. H., & Kalokerinos, E. K. (2019). The intersection of goals to experience and express emotion. Emotion Review, 11(1), 50-62.

Mid-Career Trajectory in Affective Science Award
Abigail A. Marsh, Ph.D., Georgetown University

Dr. Abby Marsh’s areas of expertise include social and affective neuroscience, particularly understanding emotional processes like empathy and how they relate to altruism, aggression, and psychopathy. This work is conducted in studies of adolescents and adults that incorporate neuroimaging, cognitive and behavioral testing, and pharmacology techniques. In some of this work, Dr. Marsh has shown that the amygdala volume is larger in altruists and smaller in psychopaths, suggesting also that these two groups lie on opposite ends of a spectrum. She has also demonstrated through multiple studies that when altruists watch someone else feel pain, they have levels of activity in similar regions of their brain as when they were feeling the pain themselves, and concluded that altruists are better at recognizing the fear of others. Relatedly, Dr. Marsh leads work at Georgetown with altruistic donors, particularly those who donated kidneys to strangers. Her work has been published in academic journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Psychological Science, the American Journal of Psychiatry, and JAMA Psychiatry. And her lab’s work on neural and cognitive correlates of extraordinary altruism was awarded the Cozzarelli Prize by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Five representative publications:

Marsh, A. A., Kozak, M. N., & Ambady, N. (2007). Accurate identification of fear facial expressions predicts prosocial behavior. Emotion, 7(2), 239.

Lozier, L. M., Cardinale, E. M., VanMeter, J. W., & Marsh, A. A. (2014). Mediation of the relationship between callous-unemotional traits and proactive aggression by amygdala response to fear among children with conduct problems. JAMA psychiatry, 71(6), 627-636.

Marsh, A. A., Stoycos, S. A., Brethel-Haurwitz, K. M., Robinson, P., VanMeter, J. W., & Cardinale, E. M. (2014). Neural and cognitive characteristics of extraordinary altruists. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(42), 15036-15041.

Marsh, A. A. (2019). The caring continuum: Evolved hormonal and proximal mechanisms explain prosocial and antisocial extremes. Annual Review of Psychology, 70, 347-371.

Rhoads, S. A., Gunter, D., Ryan, R. M., & Marsh, A. A. (2021). Global variation in subjective well-being predicts seven forms of altruism. Psychological Science, 32(8), 1247-1261.