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Keith Stanovich named 2012 recipient of the Thorndike Career Achievement Award

August 31, 2012

By Fred Michah Rynor

Keith Stanovich named 2012 recipient of E.L. Thorndike Award

Academia is a discipline where one never knows when your past and present achievements will make a delightful collision. Catapulted into yet another spotlight is exactly what has happened for OISE’s Keith Stanovich, an expert in the psychology of reading and reasoning.

Stanovich was caught off guard when he learned he was the 2012 recipient of the E. L.Thorndike Career Achievement Award, one of the most respected educational honours in the world.

"I've been part of the OISE community since 1991 when I joined the faculty," says Stanovich," and I was thrilled and totally surprised when I received this because I had not even known that I'd been nominated."

The Thorndike's are administered by the American Psychological Association (APA) and are awarded to living recipients for career achievement in producing scientific research of relevance to educational psychology. It's a landmark moment in the career of academic heavyweights with past winners including Jean Piaget and B. F. Skinner.

Stanovich, Emeritus Professor of Applied Psychology and Human Development, is renowned for his theories on how reading skills are acquired and what the exercise of reading does to the mind. Stanovich’s classic article on Matthew Effects in reading (rich get richer and the poor get poorer effects) has been cited over 1,200 times in scientific literature.

"A large amount of the work that garnered the Thorndike was conducted at OISE and a good deal of it involved the many graduate students that were members of my lab over a number of years," says Stanovich. "OISE proved to be a great setting for my work in both areas—reading and reasoning."

Edward L. Thorndike (1874-1949) was an American psychologist and past president of the American Psychological Association, the Psychometric Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Stanovich will give the keynote speech at the August 2013 APA Conference in Hawaii.