This award is given to a person who has made significant contributions to the scientific study of psychopathy over the course of his or her lifetime.
Inaugural Recipient, Dr. Robert Hare
Dr. Robert Hare, one of the world's leading authorities on psychopathy, is a professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia and honorary professor of psychology at Cardiff University in Wales. Dr. Hare has a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Alberta and a Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario.
Dr. Hare's more-than 40-year career studying psychopathy began when he encountered a manipulative inmate while working as a prison psychologist between his M.A. and Ph.D. studies. A book by Hervey Cleckley called The Mask of Sanity played a pivotal role in his thinking about the clinical nature of psychopathy. Dr. Hare's early research focused on the use of theories, concepts, and procedures from learning, motivation, and psychophysiology in the laboratory study of psychopathy, with emphasis on information-processing and emotional correlates. However, a recurrent issue was the lack of a reliable, valid, and generally acceptable method for assessing the disorder. In the late 1970s, he and his students and colleagues began development of what was to become the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R). The PCL-R is recognized worldwide as the leading instrument for the assessment of the disorder, both for scientific research and for practical applications in mental health and criminal justice.
Dr. Hare consistently acknowledges and praises the important contributions of his students to the theory and research on psychopathy, and he is pleased that many of his students have established themselves as major figures in the field. He describes the collaborative efforts with his former students as invigorating and fruitful. Currently, he is involved in a number of international research projects on assessment and treatment issues, risk for recidivism and violence, and functional neuroimaging. Although Dr. Hare has most often studied psychopaths in prison, he has recently begun to study them in other contexts, including community in general and the corporate world in particular.
He lectures widely about psychopathy, and consults with law enforcement, including the FBI, the RCMP, and Her Majesty's Prison Service. He has been recognized worldwide for his research on psychopathy, receiving the Silver Medal of the Queen Sophia Center in Spain, the Canadian Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Applications to the field of Psychology, the Isaac Ray Award from the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law for Outstanding Contributions to Forensic Psychiatry and Psychiatric Jurisprudence, and the B. Jaye Anno Award for Excellence in Communication from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.
In recognition of the enormous impact that his work on psychopathy has had worldwide, the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy named their lifetime achievement award after him. In 2005, he was the first recipient of the R.D. Hare Lifetime Achievement Award.