Gibson receives 2005 Decade of Behavior Research Award

James L. Gibson, Ph.D., the Sidney W. Souers Professor of Government in Arts & Sciences, received a 2005 Decade of Behavior Research Award in recognition of his research on democracy issues.

The award recognizes high-caliber research that has profoundly influenced the public’s understanding of behavioral and social science principles as well as the use of social and behavioral science knowledge in policy settings.

James L. Gibson
James L. Gibson

The “Decade of Behavior” (2000-2010) is a multidisciplinary initiative to focus the talents, energy and creativity of the behavioral and social sciences on meeting many of society’s most significant challenges.

Up to five research awards are given annually in one of the decade’s major themes areas. The theme for 2005 was democracy.

Gibson was selected for his research on political tolerance and the support for civil liberties in the United States, the Soviet Union and South Africa.

“Professor Gibson’s research provides important insight into how democracy functions in the minds of everyday citizens,” the award committee said.

“By holding the beliefs of liberal democratic philosophers up to empirical examination, the research by Professor Gibson has promoted democracy by showing how individuals, political leaders and public policies are influenced when freedom is in jeopardy.”

Gibson and other award recipients will present their work at a special Capitol Hill congressional workshop May 23.

Other awardees were Sharyn O’Halloran and David Epstein, political science professors at Columbia University; Judith Torney-Purta, professor of human development at the University of Maryland; William Clark, professor of geography and statistics at the University of California, Los Angeles; and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, professor of communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

For more information on the program, go online to