UMass Social Psychologist Linda Tropp Honored For Decades Of Research And Social Action

Linda TroppSocial psychologist Linda Tropp, professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and faculty associate in the School of Public Policy, has been named the 2024 recipient of the Kurt Lewin Award, which recognizes “outstanding contributions to the development and integration of psychological research and social action.”

The award, bestowed by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), is named for the late pioneer in the science of group dynamics, who is widely regarded as the founder of social psychology and was also a founder of SPSSI.

“I must admit, this award means more to me than any other award in psychology, given how central the goal of conducting socially relevant research has been to my own professional development and career trajectory,” Tropp says.

She adds, “I’ve been particularly touched by the congratulatory notes I have received from past recipients and luminaries in the field, which make me feel very honored to be continuing the legacy of the work by walking in the footsteps of those who came before me.”

As is customary for recipients of the annual award, Tropp will deliver the 2024 Kurt Lewin Address at the SPSSI Summer Conference, which will take place June 21-23 in Philadelphia.

The award committee noted that Tropp is recognized as a leading authority of using psychological science to ease social divisions and improve relations between social groups. Along with graduate students in her Intergroup Relations and Social Justice Lab, Tropp studies how members of different groups experience contact with each other, and how group differences in power and status can affect cross-group relations. 

“In addition to a remarkable career as a social psychologist studying intergroup contact theory (with more than 125 papers and multiple books), Dr. Tropp also works with a wide range of organizations (eight of whom provided glowing letters of support) seeking to implement evidence-based intergroup contact programs to build positive intergroup relations in various sectors,” the SPSSI award announcement states. “Her synthesis of expertise in strong theoretical work and application to social issues is an excellent reflection of Kurt Lewin’s legacy.”