Williams College Professor Phebe Cramer Wins Psychology Award

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., March 24, 2014—Phebe Cramer, professor of psychology, emerita, at Williams College, has been honored with the Society for Personality Assessment’s Bruno Klopfer Memorial Award. The award, presented to Cramer at the society’s annual convention this month, is given each year for “outstanding, long-term professional contribution to the field of personality assessment.”

The Society for Personality Assessment is an international organization dedicated to the development of personality assessment methods, research on their effectiveness, and the exchange of ideas on the theory and practice of assessment. Originally the Rorschach Institute, the organization was founded in 1938 by Klopfer.

At the society’s convention in Arlington, Va., Cramer delivered a talk titled “Empirical Studies of Defense Mechanisms” in conjunction with the award presentation. “I feel very honored to be receiving this award, for a lifetime of research work, from psychologists who are authorities for the study of personality,” Cramer said.

At Williams since 1970, Cramer has taught courses on developmental psychology, children’s lives, and childhood disorders. Cramer also taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and Barnard College, and she conducted a private practice in Clinical Psychology. Cramer has written more than 100 research papers and five books, including The Development of Defense Mechanisms (1991), Story-telling, Narrative, and the Thematic Apperception Test (1996), and Protecting the Self: Defense Mechanisms in Action (2006).

Cramer received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Ph.D. from New York University.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.

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