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Award-winning ASU psychology professor elected into prestigious society

Dan Mcneish

Daniel McNeish, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology.

June 03, 2019

Being named an Association for Psychological Science Rising Star and receiving two early career awards, one from the American Educational Research Association and one from the American Psychological Association, are just some of the accolades Arizona State University’s Daniel McNeish has received in the past year.

McNeish, who joined the Department of Psychology as an assistant professor in 2017, was also inducted into the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology (SMEP). Founded in 1960, SMEP is a small society of researchers who study multivariate statistical methods, or methods that can handle more than one variable changing, and who use them to help solve important problems in psychology and other fields. Membership in SMEP is capped at 65 active members, and all members who are elected into the society have made important contributions to the implementation of quantitative psychology. McNeish is currently the youngest member of the society.

“The members of SMEP represent a who’s who of quantitative psychologists. Their votes indicate that they value Dan’s work, want to hear what he has to say and that his voice will continue to play a prominent role in our field throughout his career (and beyond),” said Michael Edwards, an associate professor of psychology who is also a member of SMEP. “Being elected into SMEP is a great achievement for Dan — it speaks volumes about how his peers view him — but it’s also great for ASU, the Department of Psychology and the quantitative psychology program. It’s another sign that the work we do here is important and valued by the wider community.”

At the SMEP annual meeting each year, only members and their guests attend. During talks, members sit in chairs lined up in the shape of a horseshoe, while guests sit in chairs behind the members.

“I have been to a SMEP meeting before as a guest and have sat in the back,” McNeish said. “Now I get to sit in the horseshoe.”

When he attended the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), McNeish learned he won the Early Career Award in Statistics. This award is given by the Measurement and Research Methodologies division of the AERA every three years to acknowledge people who have made important contributions to educational research with statistical methods.

The American Psychological Association Division 5, Quantitative and Qualitative Methods, named McNeish the recipient of the 2019 Anne Anastasi Distinguished Early Career Contributions Award. The award is given to highlight exceptional quantitative methods research.

McNeish was also recognized by the Association for Psychological Science for outstanding contributions in the early stages of his research career with the Rising Star award.

“While it is fun to receive awards like this, they are secondary,” McNeish said. “The work comes first, and awards are just there to acknowledge the work.”

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