Congratulations to Rex G. Stanford, Professor Emeritus (Psychology), St. John’s University, who has been selected to receive the PA's 2019 Outstanding Career Award. This award goes to a PA professional or associate member to recognize sustained research or service contributions that have advanced the discipline of parapsychology.  The following was received from Prof. Stanford to accompany the announcement of his award:

My strong interest in using science to understand the world was given early support from both my parents. Under my mother’s guidance I observed or created various intriguing natural events, both biological and physical (e.g., life cycles of Lepidoptera; pheromone response in a moth species; electrostatic phenomena, plus outdoor wonders like eclipses and wildflower fields); my father arranged or personally constructed for me scientific equipment. During my high school years I undertook in-depth reading in psychology, biology, and physics. I was a budding “theorist” from very early, desiring science-based understanding of this world and, indeed, of the universe, with my reading including astrophysics and relativity. The seemingly deep mystery of psi attracted me to its study, as a domain with potentially profound conceptual significance.

Both my undergraduate (B.A.) and doctoral (Ph.D.) psychology degrees were at the University of Texas, Austin. My doctoral dissertation was cognitive (conflicting associative hierarchies). My deeply knowledgeable, always helpful, mentor was Louis J. Moran, a preeminent word-association researcher. A graduate social psychology seminar under Elliot Aronson required reading research reports or proposals, developing and writing constructive critiques of them, and getting feedback on that work via open discussion with students and professor. This experience enhanced my ability to develop reality-grounded, fair criticism, to explain it to others, and to critique my own research plans. This subsequently helped me in refereeing numerous scientific papers and, as external consultant, in commenting on two federal grant proposals. Highly important, early on, were encouragement from J. B. Rhine and fellowship support from his affiliated research entities.

My research often examined psychological functioning during actual psi testing (and, sometimes, during prior meditation/relaxation) to assess and understand its relation, if any, to psi-task performance. Toward that end, I have used unintrusive, non-reactive, measurements of psychological functioning and internal state, in the interest of construct validity. Examples: (a) Recording hypothetically psi-task-relevant EEG measures during psi testing and sometimes immediately before (e.g., pre-test relaxation); (b) post-session tallying of response biases (sometimes deliberately manipulated) during receptive-psi testing; (c) in free-response work, measurement of mean utterance length to assess potential arousal-related interactive consequences of stimulation level (noise/silence) and trait (extraversion); and (d) measurement of logical constraints on psi-task responses (as in call balancing). Unobtrusively measuring relevant variables during the session proved very fruitful in my research. My major theoretical contribution was a detailed model of unconscious psi-mediated response, plus related research (the basis of the PA’s Outstanding Contribution Award 1993); two later book chapters discussed the model’s subsequent development.

My beloved wife, Birgit (recently deceased), was inestimably important to my career. For 55+ years her love, encouragement, good judgment, unselfishness, and eager helpfulness made possible a fulfilling life together and realization of our cherished goals.

Throughout his career, Rex G. Stanford contributed 55 journal papers spanning research, meta-analysis, conceptualization, methodology, and ethics topics, 27 book chapters, and 24 book reviews.

He served as PA President twice (1973; 2006-2007); 12 years on the PA governing body; and four years as PA Secretary. He chaired the Committee on Professional Standards and Ethics (1980-1987), guiding a major revision of the thrust of the PA’s code of professional-scientific ethics, which was enhanced through face-to-face discussion with leading ethics-related professionals from non-parapsychological sciences.

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