Smith Elected NAS Member

Edward E. Smith, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan, was elected as a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Member on April 30. Election to NAS is one of the highest honors bestowed upon U.S. Scienctists. Criteria for election are based on distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. This year, Dr. Smith is the only psychologist to join NAS.

Dr. Smith's research has primarily focused on the higher mental processes, including memory, categorization, reasoning, and problem solving. In the 1970s, he (along with Drs. Lance Rips and Edward Shoben) developed a model of semantic memory that represented concepts and prototypes in terms of semantic features. This work culminated in a widely cited book, Categories and Conception (coauthored by Dr. D. Medin).

In the early 1980s, Dr. Smith's study of how simple concepts are combined into complex ones (with Daniel Osherson, PhD) resulted in the development of a model of conceptual combination. This work led Dr. Smith (with Drs. Osherson and Eldar Shafir) to propose a model for a number of phenomena of category-based induction.

Dr. Smith's work shifted, around 1990, to focus on another core component of thought--working memory. He used neuroimaging techniques to study this topic.

Dr. Smith has authored or coauthored over 130 books and articles in his 30-year career as a psychologist. An APA Fellow since 1975, he has served on the editorial boards of a number of journals and book series, including the Harvard University Cognitive Science Series (1979-1985). He was also Editor of Cognitive Science from 1981 to 1985.

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