Who We Are
The international community of cognitive psychologists recognizes the Psychonomic Society as the preeminent society for the experimental study of cognition. Since it was formed nearly 60 years ago, the Society has grown to over 4,300 scientists.
Members are cognitive psychologists and include some of the most distinguished researchers in the field. Many are concerned with the application of psychology to health, technology, and education. What brings us together is that we study the basic, fundamental properties of how the mind works by using behavioral techniques to better understand mental functioning.
Our most innovative research uses converging methods from behavioral measurement, neuroscience, computational modeling and other fields to achieve our research goals. Members of the Society conduct research on questions concerning memory, learning, problem solving, decision making, language, attention, and perception. We also connect with research in biology, chemistry, statistics, computer science, medicine, law, and business.
We achieve our objectives by hosting meetings around the world, publishing seven world-class, peer-reviewed journals, disseminating our research to the press and public, honoring the contributions by top scientists, and funding workshops and symposia that advance our knowledge and understanding.
The Society works closely with other societies that focus on allied fields of research. We also support US-based advocacy for research funding by working in partnership with the Federation of Associations in Brain and Behavioral Sciences (FABBS).
The mission of the Psychonomic Society is to foster the science of cognition through the advancement and communication of basic research in experimental psychology and allied sciences. It achieves this goal through two main mechanisms: (1) an Annual Meeting devoted to the presentation of scientific papers; and (2) the publication of scholarly journals in a variety of domains relating to cognition.
The Psychonomic Society values basic science, scientific integrity and rigor, diversity and inclusivity in membership, and global impact.
The Psychonomic Society was founded by a group of experimental psychologists during a meeting in Chicago, Illinois, in December 1959 and incorporated on March 31, 1960 in Wisconsin, USA. The main goal was to create a society that would support open communication about psychological science with minimal structure. An article about the Society's inception and history can be found in Dewsbury, D. A., & Bolles, R. C. (1995). The founding of the Psychonomic Society. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2, 216-233.
During that 1959 meeting, a small group of experimental psychologists recognized the need for a distinct society that would support open and accessible communications about new research in experimental and cognitive psychology. They took the radical step of breaking away from the dominant association at the time and create a smaller, more select and less formal society with a minimal structure and sole focus on experimental work rather than practice-related research. Their early success in publishing a journal that reported on the latest experimental research paved the way for the Psychonomic Society to play a critical role in promoting scientific research in psychology and allied sciences.
Today the Society publishes seven distinct journals and build a membership of more than 4,100 researchers. Its Annual Meeting is a highly-regarded, scientific event where many graduate students learn about experimental and cognitive psychology and hear leaders in the field present and discuss the latest research.
In recent years the Psychonomic Society embraced a new publishing model, divested itself of its own publishing house, and contracted with Springer Publishing to produce its seven journals. These changes created a new and substantial source of revenue that put the Society in a position to consider new programs.
The Society's Governing Board (GB) realized that new income not only gave it an incredible opportunity but also a grave responsibility to decide which exciting opportunities to take on. They wanted to consider which of these efforts would allow the Society to move forward in the best way. They also saw the need to invest financially not only in the future stability of the Society but also in its meeting, journals, and its members and their research - the reason it exists in the first place.
To help them make the right decisions about future directions, the Governing Board first undertook an assessment of where the Society stood at present and what its goals should be for the future. They wanted to ensure the Psychonomic Society retained the qualities its members value and be nimble enough to change with the times. A strategic plan was developed to articulate the Society's priorities, goals, and strategies for the next decade.