Psychologist Daniel Kahneman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

October 17, 2013

President Obama recently named Daniel Kahneman as one of 16 winners of the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, awarded to “individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” This year marks the 50th anniversary of the award, which was first conferred on 31 honorees by President Kennedy.

President Obama said of this year’s honorees, they “have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world.” Kahneman is recognized for his work with colleague Amos Tversky in the application of cognitive psychology to economic analysis, which launched the field of behavioral economics and earned him the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002. His recent international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, brings his lifetime’s work to the public.

Scientist and FABBS President-Elect Susan Fiske said of the honor, “Danny Kahneman is a brilliant scientist and a humane colleague, whose insights have changed the course of economic and psychological sciences. The Medal recognizes his pathbreaking work, and this recognition is also good for our sciences.”Kahneman is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is also Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs Emeritus at the Woodrow Wilson School, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton University, and a fellow of the Center for Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (more).

A synopsis of Kahneman’s work is available at the FABBS Foundation In Honor of… webpage, recognizing him for his important and lasting contributions to the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior.