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Gordon H. Bower Ph.D.

National Medal of Science - Behavior and Social Science 2005

"Psychologist, Cognitive-Social. Human memory, mnemonic devices, retrieval strategies, recording strategies, category learning. Cognitive processes, emotion, imagery, language and reading comprehension as they relate to memory. Mathematical Models, Computer Simulation of Memory, Behavior Modification."


Professional Interests
Professional Employment
Professional Affiliations
Professional Service
Editorial Consultant
Honors and Awards


Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH. BA 1954.
University of Minnesota, Woodrow Wilson Fellowship studying Philosophy of Science & Mathematics 9/54-6/55.
Yale University, MS June 1957; Ph.D. 1959, Psychology, graduated with distinction.


Conditioning, Learning, Memory, Language Comprehension
Mathematical Models, Computer Simulation of Memory, Behavior Modification


Stanford University Dept of Psychology, appointed as assistant professor 9/1959, promoted to associate then full professor (1966), retired to emeritus status 01/2008.
Visiting Professor of Psychology, Phillips University of Marburg, Germany, Spring semester 1987
Chief Science Advisor to the Director of the National Institutes of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD. 3/1992-3/1993
Visiting Professor of Psychology (Holtzman Chair), University of Texas, Austin, TX Fall semester 2003 & Fall 2005


American Psychological Association, since 1960
Western Psychological Association, since 1962
Psychonomic Society, since 1960
Society of Experimental Psychologists, since 1965
The National Academy of Sciences, since 1973
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, since 1973
Cognitive Science Society, founder, since 1967
American Psychological Society (Now Association for Psychological Science)
International Society for Research on Emotions, since 1987
Society for the Study of Text and Discourse, since 1968
American Philosophical Society, since 2004.


Member, Experimental Psychology Review Board, National Institutes of Mental Health, 1968-1971. Many reviews of grant proposals since then.
Member, Psychology and the Educational Process Committee of the Social Science Research Council, 1970-1972.
Member, Executive Committee of Division of Experimental Psychology, APA, 1974-1976. Chairman, 1975.
Member, Governing Board of the Psychonomics Society, 1972-1976. Chairman and President, 1976.
Publications Committee of the Psychonomics Society, 1974-1978. Chairman, 1978.
Chairman of the Stanford Psychology Department, 1978-1982.
National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Behavioral and Social Sciences. 1980-1983. 2011-2012
Associate Dean of Humanities & Sciences, Stanford University, 1983-1986.
Governing Board, Cognitive Science Society, 1981-1988. Chairman and President, 1987.
Member, "Forum on Federal Research Management" Committee of the Federation of Behavioral, Cognitive, and Neural Sciences, 1986-1989.
Member of the Advisory Board, The Institute for the Learning Sciences, Northwestern University, 1989-1996.
Member, International Union of Psychological Science (US Committee), 1991-1999.
Conducted reviews of research programs throughout psychology for the Office of Naval Research, National Institute of Aging, and National Science Foundation.
Founding Member of the International Society for Research on Emotion, 1987.
Science Advisory Committee to Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association, 1989-1990.
Chief Science Advisor to the Director of APA's Science Directorate, 1985-1992
Board of Scientific Affairs, American Psychological Association, 1991.
Board of Directors, American Psychological Society, 1989-1993.
Warren Medal Committee, Society for Experimental Psychologists, 1991-1993.
Convention Program Committee, Western Psychological Association, 1993-1994.
Organizer and presenter, Presidential Symposium on "Neuropsychology" at Convention of the American Psychological Society, June 1993.
Reviews of several grant proposals to the R.K. Mellon Foundation from the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC) Carnegie Mellon University/ & University of Pittsburgh.
Chairman; External Advisory Board for the CNBC (above), 1994-1999.
The President's External Advisory Committee to the Psychology Department; Carnegie Mellon University, 1993-annually through 2004); the Dean's Arts and Sciences Advisory Committee at Carnegie Mellon University, 2000.
Presidential External Review Committees on Departments of Psychology at New York University, Northwestern, Princeton, Harvard, and University of Minnesota and South Florida.
Board of Directors, The Beckman Center for Cognitive Science, The University of Illinois, 1986- 1991.
Chairman of the NIMH Task Force (50 members) that produced "Basic Behavioral Science Research for Mental Health," a 137-page report to Congress, assembled during 11/92-6/95.
Advisor to the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco, CA, on human memory exhibits, 1993- 1996.


Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 1963-1970.
Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1965-1972.
Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 1964-1970.
Journal of Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 1965-1969.
British Journal of Mathematical & Statistical Psychology, 1965-1974.
Cognitive Psychology, 1969-1975.
Cognitive Therapy and Research, 1976-1980.
Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior (now Journal of Memory and Language), 1968- 1989.
Senior Editor, Annual Research Volume, The Psychology of Learning and Motivation: Advances in Research and Theory, Academic Press. Annually 1968-1991 (Edited 23 annual volumes + 2 extra ones).
Cognitive Science, 1980-1996.
Advisory Board, Series in Cognitive Science, Harvard University Press, 1981-1991.
Advisory Board, MIT Press Series, Computational Models of Cognition, and Perception, 1983-1991.
Cognition and Emotion, 1986-2006.
Associate Editor, Annual Review of Psychology, 1986-1991.
Connection Science: A Journal of Neural Network and PDP Research, 1988-present.
Consciousness and Cognition, 1989-2007.
Occasional Reviewer for Psychological Review, Science, Child Development, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, guest reviewer on ad hoc basis for many other journals.
Reviewed grant proposals for National Science Foundation, NIMH, NIE, and Canadian and Australian Research Councils.
Senior Advisory Editor, Encyclopedia of Psychology, by Oxford University Press and the American Psychological Association. Published 2000
Senior Advisory Editor, Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, by Elsevier Publishers. Published 2001


Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for Graduate Study at University of Minnesota, 1954-55
NIMH Fellowship for Graduate Study at Yale University, 1956-1959
NIMH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Pittsburg VA Hospital, 06-08/1959
Society of Experimental Psychologists, elected 1965. (President, 1989)
NIMH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, University of London, U. K. 1965.
National Academy of Sciences, elected 1973.
Fellowship at The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, 1973.
Fellow of Division 3 (Experimental) of The American Psychological Association, elected 1973.
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, elected 1975.
President of Division 3 (Experimental) of the American Psychological Association, elected 1975.
Elected Chairman of the Governing Board and President, Psychonomics Society, 1975-1976.
Albert Ray Lang Professorship Chair, Stanford University, awarded 1975.
Sir Frederick Bartlett Lecturer, British Experimental Psychology Society, 1975.
Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award. American Psychological Association, Sept. 1979.
Elected to Governing Board, Cognitive Science Society, 1981-1988.
Elected Chairman of the Governing Board and President of the Cognitive Science Society, 1987-1988.
Festschrift: Tutorials in Learning and Memory: Essays in Honor of Gordon Bower. Edited and written by ten of my former Ph.D. students. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman & Co. 1984.
The Howard Crosby Warren Medal, The Society of Experimental Psychologists, awarded 1986.
William James Fellow Award for significant scientific contributions, the American Psychological Society, 1989.
Elected President of Western Psychological Association, 1990-1991 (President Elect, 1989-1990).
Invited Keynote Speaker to numerous conventions, including American Psychological Association, Western Psychological Association, American Educational Research Association, British Psychological Association, British Experimental Psychologists Society, American Association of Behavior Therapists, European Association of Behavior Therapists, German Psychological Association.
Elected President of American Psychological Society, 1991-1993.
Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, University of Chicago, June 1991.
Honorary Doctorate of Science, Indiana State University, May 1993.
Senior Science Advisor to the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health; Bethesda, MD. 4/92-4/93.
Board of Scientific Advisors, Science Directorate of the American Psychological Association. 6/93
Chief Scientific Advisor, American Psychological Association. 1993-2006.
NIMH - MERIT Award for his research grant (5 years initial funding; grant was renewed for 5 years through 2002). Had 48 years of continuous research funding from NIMH, 1960-2008.
Wilbur Cross Medal for Distinguished Scientific Contributions and Career; Yale University Graduate School. May, 1995.
Keynote address to The Third International Conference on Human Memory in Padova, Italy, July 12, 1996.
Keynote address to convention of American Psychological Association on "Emotion and Social Judgement." August 19, 1996.
Panel to advise NIH director's office regarding support for behavioral science research within the NIH. February 1996.
The John Kendall Honorary lectures at Gustavus Adolphus College; St. Peter, Minnesota. April 1996.
Keynote address at opening of German Psychological Association, in Dresden. September 1998.
Advisory Committee to Director of NIMH on Psychology and Public Health Initiatives. October 1999-2000.
Presidential Citation for scientific contributions. American Psychological Association, 2002.
Keynote address to the plenary session of the Psychonomic Society in Vancouver, Nov. 2003
Honorary Doctorate Degree, University of Basel, Switzerland. Nov, 2003
American Philosophical Society, Elected Oct. 2004
Elected President of the Western Psychological Society, 2004 (for second time)
Lifetime Contributions Award, Western Psychological Association, 2006
Received United States' President's National Medal of Science, 2005 (Pubic ceremony, July 2007)
A second Festschrift, Memory and Mind: A Festschrift for Gordon Bower. Edited by M. Gluck, J. Anderson, and S. Kosslyn. New York: Erlbaum, 2008.
Elected Distinguished Fellow and Founding Member, Cognitive Science Society, Initial year, 2008
Outstanding Graduate Student Mentoring Award, Western Psychological Association, 2011.

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Photo: Courtesy Dr. Gordon Bower

Name: Gordon Bower
Birth: 30 December, 1932
Title: Albert Ray Lang Professor Emeritus
Affiliation: Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Citation: : "For his unparalleled contributions to cognitive and mathematical psychology, for his lucid analyses of memory and learning, and for his important service to psychology and to American science." Awarded by President George W. Bush in a White House ceremony on July 27, 2007.
Biography/History of Discovery
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Doctoral Advisors: Neal Miller and Frank Logan, Experimental Psychology, Yale University, 1959
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