The Society of
Experimental
Psychologists

The Society of Experimentalists was founded by Edward Bradford Titchener in 1904. Titchener’s design for his “Experimentalists” was that it be an ongoing workshop, with “members visiting labs, studying apparatus, and hearing and commenting on reports of ongoing research.”

SEP Founder Edward Titchener

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History of SEP

The first meeting of the Society of Experimental Psychologists – then called “The Experimental Psychologists”, or “The Experimentalists” for short – was held at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, on April 4 – 5, 1904. The meetings then, and for many years thereafter, were presided over by Edward Bradford Titchener. Researchers from universities including Cornell, Yale, Clark, Michigan, and Princeton attended these early meetings, with Chicago and Iowa soon joining. Research papers were read and discussed by established researchers and tyros alike. 

As the number of practicing experimental psychologists grew nationally, along grew discussions concerning the limits that should be placed on membership in the group: Should it be kept small to ensure a manageable series of conferences; or should it be open to all interested, practicing experimental psychologists? The decision was made to keep it small-to follow the so-called Academy model-and eventually Fellows of the society were instrumental in the founding of an alternative organization, called The Psychonomic Society, to serve the needs of broader representation and communication (see Dewsbury & Bolles, 1995 for details).  During these early years, the total membership in the Experimentalists ranged around 35 individuals.  Learn More

About Us

The Society of Experimentalists was founded by Edward Bradford Titchener in 1904. Titchener’s design for his “Experimentalists” was that it be an ongoing workshop, with “members visiting labs, studying apparatus, and hearing and commenting on reports of ongoing research.” 

The Society has continued to meet annually in the years since, except for the war year 1918 and the COVID pandemic years 2020 and 2021. Upon Titchener’s death in 1927 the club was reorganized into The Society of Experimental Psychologists. The Society typically holds meetings in the spring, scheduled and organized by a member, who serves on the Executive Committee of the Society for that year. The meetings are open to all members of the Society, and to students and faculty from the host university as invited by the organizer.

The meetings are plenary and involve papers from various members of the society. The society currently admits at least 6 new members annually from among the leading experimentalists in North America. It has a current membership of 281 individuals, about 5 – 10% of the practicing experimental psychologists. The mission of the society is “To advance psychology by arranging informal conferences on experimental psychology.”

    SEP 1977 Meeting - Yale University

    Annual Meetings

    2023 Meeting – May 6-8, 2023
    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

    Congratulations to the
    2023 SEP Fellows!

    Marty Banks
    David Brainard
    Ian Dobbins
    Sam Gershman
    Simona Ghetti
    Ann Kring
    Ingrid Olson
    Janet Werker

    2023 Early Investigator Award Recipient

    Sudeep Bhatia

    Awards 

    Warren Medal

    The Howard Crosby Warren Medal is given for the most significant advances in Experimental Psychology over the prior five years.

    Lifetime Achievement Award

    The Norman Anderson Lifetime Achievement Award is given to senior individuals with outstanding records of contribution to experimental psychology.

    Early Investigator Award

    The Early Investigator Award is given to individuals who early in their careers have already made significant contributions to experimental psychology.

    Recent Awardees and Citations

    Dr. Marlene Behrmann

    Dr. Marlene Behrmann

    University of Pittsburgh

    Recipient of the 2023
    Howard Crosby Warren Medal

    Dr. Morris Moscovitch

    Dr. Morris Moscovitch

    University of Toronto

    Recipient of the 2023
    Norman Anderson Lifetime
    Achievement Award

    Keith Holyoak

    University of California, Los Angeles

    Recipient of the 2022
    Howard Crosby Warren Medal

    Marcia Johnson

    University of California, Berkeley

    Recipient of the 2022
    Norman Anderson Lifetime
    Achievement Award

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