Psychology professor M. Brewster Smith receives 2008 award for professional contributions

M. Brewster Smith

M. Brewster Smith, professor emeritus of psychology, has received the 2008 award for Distinguished Theoretical and Philosophical Contributions to Psychology from a division of the American Psychological Association (APA).

Smith, who has remained active since his retirement from UCSC in 1988, was hailed for his work at the "vanguard in the field of psychology for more than 60 years."

In announcing the award, the Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology said Smith "has championed with force and clarity the need for psychology to engage in self-critical refection; to recognize and account for the significance of historical and sociocultural contexts; and to develop a socially relevant discipline."

Smith's career has focused on the interplay of psychological and political processes. He coauthored the pioneering book Opinions and Personality (New York: Wiley, 1956), as well as more than 300 other publications, including several books and the 2003 compilation For a Significant Social Psychology: Collected Writings of M. Brewster Smith. He has played influential roles in the direction of a number of scholarly journals, including the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology and the Journal of Social Issues.

Smith's career began at Harvard University, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1947. He subsequently served on the faculties of Vassar College, New York University, UC Berkeley, the University of Chicago, and UCSC.