the APA Monitor (Oct. 1997)
Achievement Award is Questioned
response to accusations of racist views on the part of a designated
award winner, the presentation of the 1997 Gold Medal Award for
Life Achievement in Psychological Science—originally scheduled
to be given on Aug. 16—was postponed by the American Psychological
Foundation (APF) Board of Trustees.
Aug. 13, the foundation decided to postpone the presentation of
the award to Raymond B. Cattell, PhD. Cattell is well-known for
his work in the field of personality theory, assessment and testing,
but in the week proceeding the opening of APA’s 1997 Annual Convention,
concerns that Cattell’s writings were racist and advocated the
separation of the races were voiced to the association.
an effort to ensure fairness for Cattell and to protect the integrity
of the science awards program, APF announced it would appoint
a Blue Ribbon Panel of both psychologists and nonpsychologists
to review the award. The panel will undertake a thorough review
of Cattell’s work.
a statement released to the media in Chicago, Cattell denied being
racist and pointed to the fact that his work “has been organized
around measuring and understanding the individual person, regardless
of race, religion, class or gender.”
work of the Blue Ribbon Panel is expected to be completed by early
1998. The panel will report its findings to the APF Board of Trustees,
which will determine what further action is appropriate.