Thesis Prizes

A number of prizes are available for outstanding thesis research. These include both College and Departmental prizes.

The Department of Psychology offers two prizes for distinguished honors theses, the Psychology Faculty Prize and the Gordon W. Allport Prize.

Psychology Faculty Prizes are presented for honors theses which in the judgment of the Prize Committee are of special distinction. The award intends to provide an incentive for high-quality undergraduate research and to honor those students who undertake such exceptionally fine work. Course grades are not taken into account in making the award. The Prize Committee will consider all theses that were given highest grades in the normal thesis grading process, but will make its own independent judgment of thesis quality. The Committee is not bound to make an award each year; on the other hand, the Committee can make more than one award if it feels that more than one thesis qualifies for special distinction.

Gordon W. Allport Prizes are awarded for honors theses offering research of exceptionally high quality in those scholarly areas to which the late Gordon W. Allport was himself dedicated—personality psychology, the study of prejudice, social psychology, rumor, and social ethics. As in the case of Faculty Prizes, the Prize Committee will consider all theses that meet the above criteria and that were given highest grades in the normal thesis grading process. But, again, the Prize Committee will make its own independent judgment in the granting of the award.

Departmental prizes are monetary; each recipient will receive a letter confirming their receipt of this award, and will be honored at the Senior Party during commencement week.

The College also offers prizes for distinguished theses and research. Full details about College prizes can be found in the booklet Prizes, available in University Hall. Several prizes seem especially relevant for students in Psychology, including the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize, awarded for excellent scholarly work or research, and the Bowdoin Prize, awarded for any topic suitable for treatment in literary form.
 

Prize Theses in Psychology: 2001-2018
 

Student Thesis Title Committee

2017-2018

Faculty Prize
Anna Riley-Shepard (MBB/Cognitive Science) Working hard or hardly working: Attentional effort and efficiency in expert dancers George Alvarez, Hrag Pailian
Reader: Randy Buckner
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
Taylor Ladd Four- and Five-Year-Olds Weigh Race and Shirt Color Equally When Making Social Decisions Elizabeth Spelke, Annie Spokes
Reader: Mahzarin Banaji

Terry Lee (LS/Cog Neuro & Evo Psych)

Third Party Punishment: Signaling Trustworthiness or Deterring Future Mistreatment? Max Krasnow
Reader: Fiery Cushman
Olivia Losiewicz The Emotional Effects of Socially Processing News Richard McNally, Nicole LeBlanc
Reader: Leah Somerville

2016 - 2017

Faculty Prize
Isobel Green The Effect of Affective Priming on Reward Processing in Individuals with Low vs. High Levels of Depressive Symptoms Diego Pizzagalli, Poornima Kumar
Reader: Leah Somerville
Gordon W. Allport Prizes 
Bushra Guenoun Reflections of Intergroup Trust: An Experimental Test of the Intergroup Trust Model  Jim Sidanius, Mariska Kappmeier
Reader: Max Krasnow
Jeremy Sabath Persuasive News, Race, and Attitude Change: How Race Affects What Audiences Take Away from The News Jim Sidanius, Sa-Kiera Hudson
Reader: Dan Gilbert

2015 - 2016

Faculty Prizes
Serena Hagerty Hoping for the Worst: When and Why People Prefer Bad News Michael Norton, Kate Barasz
Reader: Mina Cikara
Garrett Maron An Empirical Investigation into the Effectiveness of Thought Experiments in the Development of Children’s Physical Concepts Susan Carey
Reader: Debbie Zaitchik-Samet
Constanza Vidal Bustamante
(LS/Cog Neuro & Evo Psych)
Cognitive and Biological Underpinnings of Reward-Control Interactions Across Development Leah Somerville, Juliet Davidow
Reader: Fiery Cushman
Ava Zhang The Split Bias: Decisions About Personal Resource Allocation In The Face Of Competing Demands Daniel Gilbert, Gus Cooney
Reader: Fiery Cushman
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
Claire Leibowicz
(MBB/Cognitive Science)
Using Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation to Examine the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex’s Role in Intergroup Empathy Mina Cikara
Reader: Joshua Buckholtz

2014 - 2015

Faculty Prizes
Abla Alaoui-Soce
(LS/Cog Neuro & Evo Psych)
The Perception and Influence of Animate Shape Features George Alvarez, Bria Long
Reader: Ken Nakayama
Jonathan Herzog How Implicit Theories of Intelligence Elucidate the Costs and Benefits of Self-Deception to Aid in the Development of Interventions to Enhance Educational Outcomes Mike Norton, Donal Cahill
Reader: Josh Greene
Seo Yeon Kim
(MBB/Cognitive Science)
The Effect of Executive Function Depletion on Interpreting Garden-Path Sentences Jesse Snedeker, Tanya Levari
Reader: Susan Carey
Justin Moore Creative Destruction: How Events Detrimental to Normal Cognition May Promote Creativity Shelley Carson
Reader: Ellen Langer
Mirta Stantic
(LS/Cog Neuro & Evo Psych)
Differentiation Between Coarse and Fine Face Processing in Prosopagnosics George Alavarez
Reader: Ken Nakayama

2013 - 2014

Faculty Prizes
Cherish Connelly The Bully and the Bullied: A Study of the Persistence and Influence of the Winner and Loser Effects, Advisers: Catherine Dulac and Joe Bergan Catherine Dulac, Joe Bergan 
Reader: Josh Buckholtz
Alexander Diaz Variations in the Memory Accuracy-Confidence Relationship: The Effects of Thematic Similarity, Amount, Modality, and Complexity of Information Mahzarin Banaji, Caroline Wilmuth
Reader: Leah Somerville
Jennifer Hatfield Representing Communicative Intent: Investigations of Early Sensitivity to Pedagogical Communication Elizabeth Spelke, Amy Skerry 
Reader: Susan Carey
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
Xin Xiang Would the Buddha Push the Man of the Footbridge? Systematic Variations in the Moral Judgment and Punishment Tendencies of the Han Chinese, Tibetans and Americans Josh Greene 
Reader: Felix Warneken

2012 - 2013

Faculty Prizes
Margaret Barrow Towards a Strategic Model of Executive Function Depletion Susan Carey, Lindsey Powell 
Reader: Jesse Snedeker
Miranda Beltzer Rethinking Butterflies: The Public Speaking Effects of Arousal Reappraisal and Social Anxiety Matthew Nock 
Reader: Nicole Noll
Vaida Rimeikyte Affect Unbound: The Dissociability of Arousal and Valence in Early Emotion Processing Josh Greene, Adrianna Jenkins 
Reader: Leah Somerville
Matthew Yung Theory-of-Mind and Relationship Satisfaction in Romantic Partners: An fMRI Investigation Christine Hooker, David Dodell-Feder 
Reader: Josh Buckholtz
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
Meghan Ferreira Ingroup Love Versus Outgroup Hate: Attitudes Among Members of Competitive Intergroup Rivalries Mahzarin Banaji
Reader: Jim Sidanius
Alexa Fishman Epic Fail? The Influence of Star Player Underperformance on Teammate Performance (J. Richard Hackman)
Sujin Jang, Nicholas Aramovich
Reader: Mahzarin Banaji
Andrew Hellman Warmth or Competence First? Gender and First Impressions in Job Interviews Amy Cuddy, Mahzarin Banaji
Reader: Mahzarin Banaji
Jillian Jordan The Development of Third-Party Punishment of Cooperative Norm Violations Felix Warneken, Katherine McAuliffe
Reader: Steven Pinker
Bay McCulloch Taking One For the Team: Changing Group Membership Decreases Intertemporal Altruism Dan Gilbert, Bethany Burum
Reader: Josh Greene

2011 – 2012

Faculty Prizes
Caitlin Carey An fMRI Investigation of Automatic Simulation in Schizophrenia Christine Hooker, Sarah Hope Lincoln 
Reader: Dara Manoach
Whitney Fitts Spontaneous Verbal Labeling During Object Processing Jesse Snedeker, Manizeh Khan Reader: Felix Warneken
Westley Resendes The Dissociation between Language and Early Theory of Mind Reasoning in Toddlers Susan Carey, Kathryn Hobbs
Reader: Jennie Pyers
Leslie Rith-Najarian Was That Stressful?: Performance Ability, Stress Reactivity, and Stress Appraisals in Adolescents Kate McLaughlin, Matt Nock
Reader: Shelley Carson
Matthew Sachs Functional and Structural Neural Connectivity Associated with Individual Differences in the Chill Response to Music Josh Greene, Psyche Loui
Reader: Josh Greene
Alexander Tancredi Choice Size, Value, and Perceived Freedom of Choice: Effects on Choice-related Stress and Regret Amitai Shenhav, Jason Mitchell
Reader: Jason Mitchell
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
Jocelyn Karlan Bilingual Bi-personality: How Language Shapes Implicit Attitudes and Self-concept Mahzarin Banaji
Reader: Liz Spelke
Sophia Scolnik-Brower Holy Crap!: The Role of Disgust in Religious Beliefs Steven Pinker, Amitai Shenhav Reader: Joshua Greene

  2010 – 2011

Faculty Prizes
Henrietta Afari
(LS/Soc&Cog Neurosci)
The neural correlates of aversive feelings: Anterior Insula responses to route obstructions during virtual navigation Randy Buckner, Fenna Krienen
Nicholas Purcell Induced arousal increases the desire to end a suffering person's life Daniel Wegner, Adrianna Jenkins
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
Alexander McNaughton How children think about right and wrong, rules and punishment Susan Carey, Nathan Winkler-Rhoades
Jay Musen
(MBB/Psy&Neurosci)
The moral psychology of oblications to help those in need Joshua Greene
Andrew Olsen
(MBB/Psy&Neurosci)
Moral bootstrapping: Perceiving the minds of moral patients Daniel Wegner, A. Ward
Emily Orlins It's not bad, it's modern!: Children tell white lies for prosocial purposes Felix Warneken
Katherine Ransohoff
(LS/Soc&Cog Neurosci)
Patients on the trolley track: The moral cognition of medical practitioners and public health professionals Joshua Greene
Sophie Wharton
(MBB/Psy&Neurosci)
Thou shalt versus thou shalt not: The neural processes underlying decisions to help versus decisions to avoid doing harm Fiery Cushman, Joshua Greene

2009 – 2010

Faculty Prizes
Nicholas Navarro Conflict management in global virtual teams: Eastern and Western approaches Richard Hackman
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
Roy Cohen
(MBB/Cognitive Science)
Different positive contacts for different groups:
Asymmetric effects of interaction in Palestinians and Israelis
Joshua Greene, Rebecca Saxe

2008 – 2009

Faculty Prizes
Yuliya Nikolova
(LS/Soc&Cog Neurosci)
The effects of naturalistic stress and serotonin transporter (5-HTT) genotype on reward responsiveness: Implications for depression Diego Pizzagalli, Ryan Bogdan
Rachel Reardon
(MBB/Psy&Neurosci)
Does it matter where we come from? Representations of sources in infants' event pre presentations Susan Carey, Laura Lakusta, Paul Muentener
Daniel Valenti Extensions and implications of future anhedonia Daniel Gilbert, Karim Kassam
Elizabeth Weiss Forewarned is forearmed: The role of forewarning in should/want decision making Max Bazerman, Katherine Milkman
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
Haiwen Chen
(LS/Soc&Cog Neurosci)
Crossing the "Uncanny Valley" to assess long-term perceptual adaptation to facial attractiveness Margaret Livingstone /HMS
Ken Nakayama
Teresa Knickman More dead than dead: Perceived mind of the persistent vegetative state Daniel Wegner, K. Gray
Katherine Koh Humanization and helping behavior: How does mind perception affect willingness to help the homeless? Andrea Heberlein, Daniel Wegner

2007 – 2008

Faculty Prizes
Konika Banerjee
(PSY/HEB)
Evidence for a general intelligence factor (g) in a non-human primate species Marc Hauser /Psy/HEB
Erin Blackstock
(MBB/PN)
Leveling the playing field: Examining the relationship between performance goals, stress responses, and stress appraisal on standardized exams Wendy Mendes, Modupe Akinola
Amit Kumar The impact of outcome valence on perceived duration Daniel Gilbert, Karim Kassam
Carina Martin
(Life Science)
Evidence for vagal regulation as an index of endocrine sensitivity to social feedback Wendy Mendes, Katrina Koslov
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
Harrison Greenbaum “Did you hear the one about the…?”: The effect of racial humor on prejudice James Sidanius, Lotte Thomsen
Eric Reavis High-level stimulus characteristics affect the stability but not the initiation of binocular rivalry Ken Nakayama, S. Afraz
Jillian Swencionis
(SocSt/Psy)
Perception of defendant memory and its societal implications Karim Kassam, Daniel Gilbert
T. Aladjem /SocSt
Rocksheng Zhong The trouble with trolleys: Intention and causation in moral dilemmas Joshua Greene, Fiery Cushman

  2006 – 2007

Faculty Prizes
Frankie Chen
(MBB/CN)
A study of language and thought: Object-substance interpretation among the Tsotsil Mayan Susan Carey, Peggy Li
Aline Flodr To be or not to be ill: How choosing labels affects physical, emotional and mental symptoms Shelley Carson
Katrin Gerlach
(MBB/CN)
Autonomic nervous system responses to different tempi in music Gottfried Schlaug, Erin Hannon
Sarah Heilbronner
(MBB/CN)
The evolution of risk-sensitive preferences in non-human primates Marc Hauser
Jori Pearsall 
(MBB/CN)
Sleep and the facilitation of human emotional memory over time Matthew Walker, Randy Buckner
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
Judy Herbstman
(HistSci/Psy)
A 'special relationship'?: Responsibility and the development of mental health resources at Harvard 1900-2007 Matthew Nock, Paul Barreira
Oludamini Ogunnaike
(AfAm/Psy)
The language of prejudice: The influence of language on implicit attitudes Mahzarin Banaji, Yarrow Dunham, J. Murgane

2005 – 2006

Faculty Prizes
Krupa Bhojani
(MBB/PN)
Hands as causal agents: Seven-month-olds and the development of causal perceptions Susan Carey
Kathleen Lee When it is best to expect reality: Optimism predicts biased risk perception under conditions of stress Wendy Mendes
Caroline Pemberton
(MBB/CN)
Young children's reasoning about the influences of social categories on friendship Elizabeth Spelke, Kristin Shutts
Lisa Shu 
(Ec/Psy)
Is the endowment effect due to loss aversion or mere ownership? Daniel Gilbert, Carey Morewedge, Sendhil Mullainathan
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
Virginia Borges Children's responses to gender-based inequalities Elizabeth Spelke
K. Olson
Caitlin McKee 
(MBB/CN)
The effects of social information on infants' food preferences Elizabeth Spelke, Katherine Kinzler

 2004 – 2005

Faculty Prizes
Lucas Butler Children's early understanding of pictures and words as symbols Susan Carey
Erika Cowman Effects of pramipexole, a D2/D3-receptor agonist, on reward responsiveness Diego Pizzagalli, Anne Eden-Evins
Carmen Iguina Primate vocal communication: Evidence for vocal adjustment in response to auditory feedback Marc Hauser, Roian Egnor
Lindsey Powell Thinking about thoughts: The neural correlates of belief attribution Susan Carey, Rebecca Saxe
Alexandra Rosati Context-sensitive discounting in two non-human primates, the cotton-top tamarin (Sanguinis oedipus) and the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) Marc Hauser, Jeffrey Stevens
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
Alia Crum Think and grow fit: The mind-body connection between excercise and health Philip Stone, Tal Ben-Shachar
Caitlin Riley Infants' preference and engagement as predictors of problematic behavior in preschool at age five Matthew Nock, Karlen Lyons-Ruth

 2003 – 2004

Faculty Prizes
Jennifer Chen Correlates of anosognosia in Alzheimer's patients: The roles of false memory and the distinctiveness heuristic in awareness Andrew Budson
Stella Christie Inferring the nonovbious: Infants' knowledge of correlation between structure and function Elizabeth Spelke, Lori Markson
Caitlin Ferriter Distinguishing between general and specific family correlates of eating disorders Pamela Keel
Alyson Zalta Homogeneity of eating patterns in collegiate peers: A longitudinal study Pamela Keel
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
David Canose Chasing a mirage: An investigation into the conditions under which perfectionism facilitates or inhibits task performance Shelley Carson
Hannah Kenser Cognitive effects of priming in biracial individuals Ken Nakayama, Joan Chiao
Bonnie Poon Upward advice transmission: Who gives and who gets? Richard Hackman, Todd Pittinsky

 2002 – 2003

Faculty Prizes
Stephen Kim Contribution of Prefrontial Contical Areas To Spatial Learning and Navigation in the Rat Mark Baxter
Tiffany Lai RetrivialInstructions and False Recognition: Testing the Limis of the Distinctiveness Heuristic Amy Wiseman, Daniel Schacter
Emily Murphy The Effect of PDE 10A Inhibition on Frontal Cognitive Performance in a Subchronic Phencyclidine model of Schizophrenia Mark Baxter
Kristin Naragon The Perception of Timbre as an Organizational Structure in Twentieth Century Nontonal Music Joshua Fineberg, Elizabeth Spelke
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
Frances Chen The Evolution of Cooperation: Finding the Requisite Cognitive Mechanisms in Cottontop Tamarins (Sanguinus Oedipus) Marc Hauser
Alexander Jordan Obsessionality, Distraction Strategy, and the Accessibility of Suppressed Thoughts Daniel Wegner, Megan Kozak
Joseph Whitchurch Guilty by Association: An Empathic Model of Biased Anticipated Self-Evaluations as the Result of an Associate's Behavior Nicholas Epley

 2001 – 2002

Faculty Prizes
Cendri Hutcherson The Effect of Stressful Mental Imagery on the Cortisol Response of Females with and without a History of Childhood Sexual Abuse Robert Stickgold
Conor Liston Self-Recognition, Language, and the Origins of Long-term Event Memory: Implications for Infantile Amnesia Jerome Kagan
Andrew Rosenfeld Who Could Ask for Anything more? A Behavioral Study on the Role of Syncopation In Human Rhythm Perception Tecumseh Fitch
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
Dana Gavrieli Gender and Leadership in the Israeli Defense Forces Richard Hackman
Tamara Spiewak The Effect of Acting Training On Social Skills Richard Hackman
Ian Tomb Emotion and Decision-Making: A Critical Test of The Somatic Marker Hyphothesis Marc Hauser

2000 – 2001

Faculty Prizes
Erin Clifford Interactions Between Attentional Set, Feature Characteristics and Explicit Capture Daniel Simons
Daniel Luskin Practice Does not Make Perfect: The Time-Course of Change in Performance on a Sleep-Dependent Perceptual Learning Task Robert Stickgold, Mark Baxter
Samuel Moulton Implicit Measures of Ganzeld Success: An Experimental Assessment Stephen Kosslyn
Rachel Tobey MS/VDB Lesions Blunt NMDAR1 Upregulation in Rat Dentate Gyrus Following Bilateral Perforant Path Transection: A Potential Model For Alzheimer's Disease Mark Baxter, J. Morrison
Gordon W. Allport Prizes
Grace Chan The Impact of Violence on Cortisol Secretion and the Associated Cognitive Performance in Children B. Kennedy, Michelle Leichtman
Kelley Edwards Pathways To Hope: Strategies Used By Inner-City Families To Cope Successfully With Childhood Asthma Sheldon White