HKUST's Visiting Professor in Marketing Robert Wyer was bestowed the Distinguished Scientist Award by the US-based Society for Experimental Social Psychology (SESP).
The Society is a scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of social psychology, with a membership of 700 from all over the world. It is based in Buffalo, New York. Wyer's award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to experimental social psychology.
Prof Wyer's research and theoretical interests focus on the cognitive processes that underlie beliefs and judgments about people, objects and events. It cuts across various aspects of social cognition, including the factors that influence how information is comprehended at the time it is first received, the organization and storage of knowledge in memory, and its subsequent retrieval and use in computing judgments and behavioral decisions.
His research in consumer behavior, conducted in collaboration with his current doctoral students, concerns the role of affect and emotional reactions on responses to information (with Catherine Yeung and Hao Shen), the manner in which visual and verbal information are combined to influence judgments (with Yuwei Jiang), the impact of self-consciousness on donation behavior (with Iris Hung), and the influence of mindsets on purchase decisions (with Jing Xu).
In addition to this latest award, he is a past annual recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Special Research Prize for Distinguished Scientists and was the first recipient of the Thomas M. Ostrom Award for distinguished contributions to the field of social cognition.
He has written over 160 book chapters and journal articles, and is the author or coauthor of four books, the most recent being "Social Comprehension." He is a past editor of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and the Journal of Consumer Psychology.
While happy to receive the award, Prof Wyer is keen to share the honor with his students with whom he has worked over the years, "I have been unbelievably fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate with outstanding students both here and at Illinois," he says, "It is they who deserve this recognition, and I am happy to accept the award in their behalf."
Prof Wyer received his degree in personality and social psychology from the University of Colorado and taught for many years at the University of Illinois before coming to HKUST. He has had visiting appointments at universities in England, Germany, Belgium and Australia.
Another experimental social psychologist concurrently receiving the same award is Prof Lee Ross, a Stanford University Professor.