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Janet Taylor Spence (1923-2015)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Erika O'Leary
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Kay Deaux, CUNY Graduate Center & New York University

Janet Taylor Spence, influential researcher and professional leader, died on March 16, 2015, at the age of 91, in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, after a short illness. Janet served on the Governing Board of Psychonomic Society (1978-1983) and chaired its Publications Committee. She was unique in having been president of both the American Psychological Association (1984) and the Association for Psychological Science (1988). In her University of Iowa dissertation (Ph.D. 1949), supervised by Kenneth Spence (whom she married in 1959), she created the widely-used Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale. In later years she made trailblazing contributions to the study of gender. Her academic career, marked by many “first to’s”, began at Northwestern University (1949-1960) and ended with her retirement from the University of Texas in 1987. More can be found at: and in a filmed interview at:



The Psychonomic Society Informs Members of the Recent Passing of our Scientific Colleagues

With the advent of the Psychonomic Society’s new website, the Governing Board has decided to make a place to convey the important, but somber news of the death of members of our society and others who were intellectually close to our members.

Our intention is to publish a short obituary here of no more than 125 words that includes a link to a longer obituary that appears elsewhere. We will only publish one obituary for each scientist. If you know of the recent passing of a member, please email Lynne Reder at with that information.

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