Obituaries - Janet Taylor Spence and Donn Byrne

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Robert A. C. Stewart
Sarah L. Krivan
Cite this article:  Stewart, R., & Krivan, S. (2015). Obituaries - Janet Taylor Spence and Donn Byrne. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 43(6), 881-882.


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We note, with sadness, the passing of Dr. Janet Taylor Spence and Dr. Donn Byrne, longtime members of the Board of Consulting Editors of Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal.

JANET TAYLOR SPENCE — August 29, 1923–March 16, 2015

Dr. Spence’s (then Taylor) academic career began with a position as a psychology instructor at Northwestern University, IL, USA, in the early 1950s, and her research interests spanned a variety of subject areas ranging from schizophrenia to statistics. She did not allow gender discrimination to prevent her advancing in the work force, and her experiences overcoming this in fact promoted her interest in gender research.

In the 1950s, Dr. Spence created the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale (Taylor, 1953) and in the 1970s, she was a cocreator of the Attitudes Toward Women Scale (Spence & Helmreich, 1972).

After serving on the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association in the mid–late 1970s, she was elected as the Association’s sixth female president in 1985. In 1989, she went on to found and become the first elected president of the American Psychological Society (APS). She remains the only person to be elected president of both associations.

The Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions was established in 2009 by the APS Board of Directors to recognize transformative contributions to psychological science by rising stars in the field.

References

Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. (1972). The Attitudes Toward Women Scale: An objective instrument to measure attitudes toward the rights and roles of women in contemporary society. JSAS: Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 2, 66–67.

Taylor, J. (1953). A personality scale of manifest anxiety. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 48, 285–290. http://doi.org/dt7d2m

DONN BYRNE — December 19, 1931–August 10, 2014

We note, with sadness, the passing of Dr. Donn Byrne, a longtime member of the Board of Consulting Editors of Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal.

After receiving his PhD from Stanford University in 1958, Dr. Byrne held faculty positions at the San Francisco State University, the University of Texas, and Purdue University, and was a visiting professor at the University of Hawaii and Stanford University. In 2001, he took up a position as Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

In his 40-year career in academics, which continued until the late 2000s, Dr. Byrne was a prolific author. He published more than 140 articles in professional journals, 33 chapters in edited volumes, and authored or coauthored 14 books, including several textbooks. Among them, the textbook Social Psychology: Understanding Human Interaction (1974), has now reached its 12th edition and been translated into several languages.

Dr. Byrne’s primary areas of research interest comprised social psychology, personality, and human sexuality, and he is widely acknowledged for his similarity–attraction research (see e.g., Byrne, 1961).

References

Baron, R. A., Byrne, D., & Griffitt, W. (1974). Social psychology: Understanding human interaction. Oxford, UK: Allyn & Bacon.

Byrne, D. (1961). Interpersonal attraction and attitude similarity. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 62, 713–715. http://doi.org/dq68hn

Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. (1972). The Attitudes Toward Women Scale: An objective instrument to measure attitudes toward the rights and roles of women in contemporary society. JSAS: Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 2, 66–67.

Taylor, J. (1953). A personality scale of manifest anxiety. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 48, 285–290. http://doi.org/dt7d2m

Baron, R. A., Byrne, D., & Griffitt, W. (1974). Social psychology: Understanding human interaction. Oxford, UK: Allyn & Bacon.

Byrne, D. (1961). Interpersonal attraction and attitude similarity. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 62, 713–715. http://doi.org/dq68hn

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