2003 – Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky

Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in economic sciences, earned the 2003 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology.His former colleague, the late psychology professor Amos Tversky, also received the award posthumously.

Working as a team for nearly three decades, the psychologists revolutionized the scientific approach to decision making, ultimately affecting all social sciences and many related disciplines.

Kahneman and Tversky demonstrated in experiments that normative mathematical models of probability and choice don’t account for most intuitive human judgments and decisions. Instead, a series of psychological principles, often leading to simplification of a problem, guide human behavior in the face of uncertainty. By identifying biases that guide human judgment, Kahneman and Tversky have clarified challenges for education in fields such as economics and medical decision-making.

As a result of their work, Kahneman and Tversky are among the most frequently cited authors in behavioral science. A Grawemeyer committee notes, “it is difficult to identify a more influential idea than that of Kahneman and Tversky in the human sciences.”

About the winners


Daniel Kahneman is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and a professor of public affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International affairs at Princeton University since 1993. Since he arrived at Princeton, he has taught introduction to psychology courses. He is also professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.

Kahneman was born in 1934 is in Tel Aviv, Israel. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology and mathematics from Hebrew University. Kahneman earned his Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley in 1961. He taught at Hebrew University from 1961 to 1978 and at the University of British Colombia from 1978 to 1986. From 1986 to 1994 he was a professor at the University of California-Berkeley.

Kahneman won the Hilgard Award for Lifetime Contribution in General Psychology in 1995 and the Warren Medal from the Society for Experimental Psychology in 1995. The American Psychological Association recognized him with its Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award in 1982.

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Amos Tversky earned his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1964. At the time of his death in 1996, he was the Davis Brack Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University.
Previously he held professorships at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Harvard University. A fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in 1970, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1980 and the National Academy of Science in 1985.

Kahneman and Tversky also won the American Psychological Association’s award for distinguished scientific contribution in 1982. Tversky also won the Macarthur and Guggenheim fellowships in 1984. The University of Chicago, Yale University, the University of Goteborg in Sweden and the State University of New York at Buffalo awarded him honorary doctorates.

Dr. Kahneman and Tversky also advocated application of psychological principles to public policy. Their work has contributed to the determination of the value of public goods in litigation.

Download a photo of Amos Tversky