Plous Honored with Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota

Scott Plous

For his accomplishments in research and scholarship, the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychology is honoring Professor of Psychology Scott Plous with a Distinguished Alumni Award.

Plous graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1980 with a BA degree in psychology, summa cum laude. He later completed a PhD in psychology and a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. At Wesleyan, Plous’s research focuses on judgment and decision-making, prejudice and discrimination, and the human use of animals and the environment.

The University of Minnesota’s alumni awards honor distinguished alumni from the undergraduate and graduate programs. Nominations are solicited from alumni, faculty, and friends of psychology at Minnesota and are reviewed by a Distinguished Alumni Awards Committee, who forward their recommendations to the department chair.

“This award recognizes [Plous’s] distinguished accomplishments in research and scholarship, both basic and applied, as well as in education and enhancing public awareness and impact of psychological science and practice,” wrote Jeffry Simpson, chair of the University of Minnesota’s psychology department, and Mark Snyder of the Distinguished Alumni Awards Committee, in an award letter to Plous. “Your achievements are truly distinguished, and we are so pleased to have you among our truly distinguished alumni.”

In addition to his research and teaching at Wesleyan, Plous is known for founding the Social Psychology Network, a suite of nonprofit websites supported by the National Science Foundation. He also teaches social psychology online through Coursera.

Plous is the recipient of the Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize; the Otto Klineberg Intercultural and International Relations Award; the Award for Distinguished Service to the Society from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology; the Society for General Psychology Presidential Citation for founding Social Psychology Network; and the William James Book Award (for The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making).

He received a Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching from Wesleyan in 1998 and 2011; the Charles L. Brewer Award for Distinguished Teaching of Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation; Connecticut Professor of the Year from the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education; and Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

Since Plous earned his undergraduate degree, the U of M Department of Psychology has graduated more than 50,000 psychology majors.

“I feel extremely honored by this award,” Plous said. “Of course, any such recognition isn’t just about the great undergraduate education one receives—it’s also about the career support one receives down the road. Wesleyan has made tangible and important contributions to my career development, especially with respect to Social Psychology Network and the Social Psychology MOOC.”

This spring, he’s teaching The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination at Wesleyan.

Plous will receive the award during an event and celebration at the University of Minnesota on May 3.