In Honor Of…David A. Kenny
Honoring scientists who have made important and lasting contributions to the behavioral and brain sciences.
David A. Kenny, PhD
University of Connecticut
In 1968, David A. Kenny received his A.B. from the University of California at Davis where his undergraduate mentor was Robert Sommer. He then received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1972 where his advisor was Donald T. Campbell. After 6 years at Harvard University, in 1978 he moved to the University of Connecticut, where he has had a long and productive career, achieving the top rank of University Distinguished Professor in 2006. Kenny has received widespread recognition for his unique contributions to the field, including the Methodological Innovation Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in 2013, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology in 2012, the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Relationship Research in 2010, and the Donald T. Campbell Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in 2006.
Kenny’s work on methods and models for analyzing dyadic and group data have revolutionized how researchers collect, analyze, and interpret data from dyads and groups. He has written extensively about how traditional data analytic approaches can be adapted to these contexts, as well as the extent to which these traditional methods are biased by ignoring interdependence. More critically, the models that Kenny has developed (e.g., the Social Relations Model and the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model) have motivated researchers to examine interdependence as a phenomenon that is interesting in its own right. This focus has helped to generate a true science of relationships. His seminal contributions have been clearly summarized in the now standard methodological text for relationship researchers from all branches of psychology – his 2006 book Dyadic Data Analysis (Kenny, Kashy, & Cook, 2006).
Kenny’s book, Correlation and Causality, introduced many to Structural Equation Modeling, and his most widely cited influential contributions have been in the area of mediational models. Indeed, Baron and Kenny (1986), a paper that differentiates between mediation and moderation and provides a data analytic approach to evaluate such processes, has been standard reading for graduate students in all areas of psychology for years. This paper is one of the most cited papers that has ever appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. In addition to his methodological work, Kenny has made substantial contributions to theoretical and empirical social psychology, primarily within the domain of person perception. Two of his papers in this area are winners of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology award for theoretical innovation. His book, Interpersonal Perception: A Social Relations Analysis, as well as his 1991 Psychological Review article, describe a host of issues involved in social perception.
Finally, many in psychology have consulted his website for instruction concerning structural equation modeling, interpersonal perception, and dyadic data analysis.
Individuals Honoring David A. Kenny:
Robert A. Ackerman, University of Texas at Dallas
Mitja Back, University of Münster
Reuben M. Baron, University of Connecticut
Niall P. Bolger, Columbia University
Thomas D. Cook, Northwestern University
William L. Cook, Dyadic Data Consulting
Patrick J. Curran, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Bella M. DePaulo, University of California, Santa Barbara
Hillary Anger Elfenbein, Washington University, St. Louis
Eli Finkel, Northwestern University
*Susan T. Fiske, Princeton University
Richard D. Gonzalez, University of Michigan
Kenji Hakuta, Stanford University
Rick H. Hoyle, Duke University
*Charles M. Judd, University of Colorado, Boulder
*Deborah A. Kashy, Michigan State University
Brian Lakey, Grand Valley State University
C. Deborah Laughton, Guilford Publications
Colin Wayne Leach, University of Connecticut
Thomas Ledermann, University of Basel
Yueh-Ting Lee, University of Toledo
Maurice J. Levesque, Elon University
Stefano Livi, University of Rome, La Sapienza
*Thomas E. Malloy, Rhode Island College
Cynthia Diane Mohr, Portland State University
Lisa Newmark, George Mason University
Don R. Osborn, Bellarmine University
Harry T. Reis, University of Rochester
Patrick E. Shrout, New York University
Dean Keith Simonton, University of California, Davis
Eliot R. Smith, Indiana University, Bloomington
William Swann, University of Texas, Austin
Howard Tennen, University of Connecticut Health Center
* The FABBS Foundation would like to thank Dr. Susan T. Fiske, Dr. Charles M. Judd, Dr. Deborah A. Kashy, and Dr. Thomas E. Malloy for nominating Dr. Kenny for this honor and for leading the effort to spread the word about his nomination.