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 1500 people attend, with 700-800 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.
|1960||1st||Chicago, Illinois||Sept. 1-3||-|
|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)|
|1976||17th||St. Louis, Missouri||-|
|1978||19th||San Antonio, Texas||-|
|1980||21st||St. Louis, Missouri||-|
|1983||24th||San Diego, CA||-|
|1984||25th||San Antonio, Texas||November 8-10||-|
|1986||27th||New Orleans, Louisiana||-|
|1987||28th||Seattle, Washington||November 6-8||-|
|1988||29th||Chicago, Illinois||November 10-12||-|
|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 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|
The Psychonomic Society publishes six journals:
- Learning & Behavior (formerly Animal Learning & Behavior)
- Behavior Research Methods
- Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience
- Memory & Cognition
- Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics
- Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
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.
- 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.