Psychonomic Society

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Psychonomic Society
Formation 1959[1]
Type Professional association
Headquarters Madison, WI
Jeremy Wolfe, PhD
Key people
Governing Board, Louis Shomette, Executive Director

The Psychonomic Society is one of the primary societies for general scientific experimental psychology in the United States. Although open to all areas of experimental psychology, its members typically study areas related to cognitive psychology, such as learning, memory, attention, motivation, perception, categorization, decision making, and psycholinguistics. Its name is taken from the word psychonomics, meaning "the science of the laws of the mind".


The society includes about 2500 members, including associate members. Full and associate members hold Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in their field, and full members must have published significant research other than their doctoral dissertation.


The Psychonomic Society was formed in 1959 out of a "general unhappiness with the directions being taken by the American Psychological Association" (Dewsbury & Bolles, 1995). This unhappiness stemmed in part from the focus that the APA had on clinical psychology and its practitioners. (This same sentiment later led to the formation of the American Psychological Society, another research-based psychological organization with a broader focus than the Psychonomic Society. The American Psychological Society is now called the Association for Psychological Science.)

Its organizing committee included: Wilfred J. Brogden, William K. Estes, Frank Geldard, Clance H. Graham, Lloyd G. Humphreys, Clifford T. Morgan, William D. Neff, Kenneth W. Spence, Stanley Smith Stevens, Benton J. Underwood, and William S. Verplanck.


The Psychonomic Society convenes every year in the fall, usually November. Normally, around 2,600 people attend, with 1,000 papers and posters presented.

The first meeting was held at the University of Chicago in 1960, in conjunction with the American Psychological Association meeting. Many of the meetings of the society have occurred in Chicago (in the 1960s) and St. Louis (in the 1970s). In recent years, the meeting has moved between major convention cities. Starting in 2001, the meeting instituted a keynote address honoring distinguished members.

Summary of Psychonomic Meetings
Year Meeting Location Date Keynote Speaker
1960 1st Chicago, Illinois Sept. 1-3 -
1961 2nd -
1962 3rd -
1963 4th Chicago, Illinois -
1964 5th -
1965 6th Chicago, Illinois -
1966 7th Chicago, Illinois -
1967 8th -
1968 9th St. Louis, MO -
1969 10th St. Louis, MO -
1970 11th San Antonio, Texas -
1971 12th St. Louis, MO -
1972 13th St. Louis, MO -
1973 14th St. Louis, MO November 1–3 C.T. Morgan (S. S. Stevens Memorial Lecture)
1974 15th Boston, MA -
1975 16th Denver, Colorado -
1976 17th St. Louis, Missouri -
1977 18th Washington, D.C. -
1978 19th San Antonio, Texas -
1979 20th Phoenix, Arizona -
1980 21st St. Louis, Missouri -
1981 22nd Philadelphia, PA -
1982 23rd Minneapolis, Minnesota -
1983 24th San Diego, CA -
1984 25th San Antonio, Texas November 8–10 -
1985 26th Boston, MA -
1986 27th New Orleans, Louisiana -
1987 28th Seattle, Washington November 6–8 -
1988 29th Chicago, Illinois November 10–12 -
1989 30th Atlanta, Georgia -
1990 31st New Orleans, Louisiana -
1991 32nd San Francisco, CA November 22–24 -
1992 33rd St. Louis, Missouri November 13–15 -
1993 34th Washington, D.C. November 5–7 -
1994 35th St. Louis, Missouri November 11–13 -
1995 36th Los Angeles, California November 10–12 -
1996 37th Chicago, Illinois October 31-November 3 -
1997 38th Philadelphia, PA November 20–23 -
1998 39th Dallas, Texas November 19–22 -
1999 40th Los Angeles, California November 18–21 -
2000 41st New Orleans, Louisiana November 16–19 -
2001 42nd Orlando, Florida November 15–18 William K. Estes
2002 43rd Kansas City, Missouri November 21–24 Roger Shepard
2003 44th Vancouver, B.C., Canada November 6–9 Gordon Bower
2004 45th Minneapolis, Minnesota November 18–21 Anne Treisman
2005 46th Toronto, ON, Canada November 10–13 Michael I. Posner
2006 47th Houston, TX November 16–19 Mary C. Potter
2007 48th Long Beach, CA November 15–18 Marcia Johnson
2008 49th Chicago, IL November 13–16 Daniel Kahneman
2009 50th Boston, MA November 19–22 Henry L. Roediger, III
2010 51st St. Louis, MO November 18–21 Robert A. Bjork
2011 52nd Seattle, WA November 3–6 Nora Newcombe
2012 53rd Minneapolis, MN November 15–18 John R. Anderson
2013 54th Toronto, ON, Canada November 14–17 Elizabeth Loftus
2014 55th Long Beach, CA November 20–23 Larry L. Jacoby


The Psychonomic Society publishes six journals:

Beginning with the 37th Annual meeting, abstracts of the society's annual meeting are published in Abstracts of the Psychonomic Society, starting with Volume 1 (in 1996), and numbered consecutively.


  1. ^ [1]
  • Dewsbury, D. A., & Bolles, R. C. (1995) The founding of the Psychonomic Society. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 2, 216-233.
  • Dewsbury, D. A. (1996) History of the Psychonomic Society II: The Journal Publishing Program. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 3, 322-338.

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