The award is the society's principal recognition for research accomplishment in the field of personality psychology and is named in honor of Jack Block of University of California, Berkeley, who was known for his analytic and theoretical sophistication and depth. Block died at age 85 in January 2010.
Rothbart, who remains active in research, studies the development of individual differences in temperament using methods that range from questionnaire to laboratory observations. A parent-report tool that she introduced in 1981, the Infant Behavior Questionnaire, is now one the most widely employed measures of infant temperament. She also has done extensive laboratory work on the early development of the emotions, activity and attention.
Rothbart is the 15th recipient of the annual award. The Society of Personality and Social Psychology, founded in 1974, is the largest organization of social psychologists and personality psychologists.
Earlier this year, she was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2009, she received the 2009 Gold Medal for Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation. She holds a bachelor's degree from Reed College and a doctorate from Stanford University.
—By Jim Barlow, Public Affairs Communications