Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology
The Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology (SMEP) is a small academic organization of research psychologists who have interests in multivariate statistical models for advancing psychological knowledge. It publishes a journal, Multivariate Behavioral Research.
SMEP was founded in 1960 by Raymond Cattell and others as an organization of scientific researchers interested in applying complex multivariate quantitative methods to substantive problems in psychology. The two main functions of the society are to hold an annual meeting of scientific or quantitative psychology specialists and to publish a journal, Multivariate Behavioral Research. The first meeting of the Society was held in Chicago in the fall of 1961. Beginning in 1993, the meeting has been held annually.
The new members of SMEP are elected by existing members, and membership is considered to be honorific. To promote interaction among participants in the annual meeting, the membership is limited to 65 active members under the age of 65, as well as to emeritus members (active members aged 65 and older who attend the annual meeting regularly). The Bylaws of SMEP stipulate that there should be twice the number of nominees for membership as available slots.
The president of SMEP is elected by the membership and the list of former presidents includes many prominent psychology methodologists, including Raymond B. Cattell, Donald W. Fiske, Jacob Cohen, Harry Harman, Peter Bentler and Jack Block.
The annual meeting spans two and one half days and consists exclusively of presentations by members in a single session. The program is arranged to allow ample discussion of each presentation. Since 2003, a half-day graduate student pre-conference has been held in conjunction with the annual meeting. PhD students sponsored by SMEP members present their research to those attending the annual meeting. In addition, the Society awards an annual Saul Sells Award and Raymond B. Cattell Award for new investigators. The meeting also elects a new president.
The SMEP journal, Multivariate Behavioral Research (MBR), publishes research articles on multivariate methodology and its use in psychological research. The 2014 Editor of MBR is Keith Widaman, and the journal is published by Taylor & Francis Group.
SMEP and Taylor & Francis also cooperate in the publication of a series of books on applications of multivariate quantitative methods to important substantive research issues. The book series is edited by Lisa Harlow.
The Society uses revenue from the journal to fund programs that promote learning of statistical methods in psychology and education, with a special emphasis on increasing the number of persons from under-represented groups in quantitative psychology.
- Cattell, Raymond B. (1990). "The birth of the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology". Journal of the History of Behavioral Sciences 26: 48–57.
- Wolfgang Saxon (1998-02-07), Jacob Cohen, 74, Psychologist And Pioneer in Statistical Studies, New York Times, retrieved 2010-05-23
- Margalit Fox (2010-02-07), Jack Block, Who Studied Young Children Into Adulthood, Dies at 85, New York Times, retrieved 2010-05-23