Mayer, who joined the UNH faculty in 1989, is a luminary in the field of personality psychology. He is widely considered (along with his collaborator Peter Salovey) to be the father of the field of emotional intelligence and his groundbreaking work on the topic has earned him international acclaim. His original ideas gave rise to a cottage industry of research on emotional intelligence, both theoretical and applied, and the term he coined has become part of the popular vernacular. Mayer and his colleagues developed the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), a widely used test that measures emotional intelligence that has now been shown to predict critical outcomes across many life domains.
In more recent years, Mayer has developed the entirely new construct of Personal Intelligence, and has developed and refined the Test of Personal Intelligence (TOPI), which he has shown to be reliable and valid using large populations.
Consistent with his wide-ranging impact, Mayer is a prolific and award-winning researcher. He has published five authored (or co-authored) books, including a foundational textbook in personality psychology, three additional edited volumes, scores of chapters and more than 125 peer-reviewed articles.
As a teacher, Mayer has mentored many graduate students working toward masters and doctoral degrees, several of whom have appeared as co-authors in his publications and established careers in academics. His undergraduate courses are highly rated, with students consistently noting his mastery of the material as well as his engagement, eloquence and joviality.
“I have long been impressed by the high caliber and extensive impact of Dr. Mayer’s research,” says Michele Dillon, dean of COLA. “His pioneering work on emotional intelligence significantly expanded appreciation for how awareness of one’s own and others’ emotions is critical to individuals’ successful functioning across the breadth of everyday personal and professional situations and contexts.”
The annual Gary Lindberg Award was established by the College of Liberal Arts in 1986 in memory of Professor Gary Lindberg of the Department of English. Lindberg was an exceptional scholar and outstanding teacher whose dedication and service to the University of New Hampshire as well as the wider community exemplified the highest academic standards and ideals.