Named for SMEP founder Raymond Cattell, the award is given annually to a researcher who has made outstanding contributions to the field and shows promise of continued high-quality work.
Zhang, whose research focus is multivariate analysis, is the sixth faculty member from Notre Dame to receive the award.
“It is particularly meaningful for me that my work was recognized by the best group of researchers in my field,” he said.
He is currently working to develop new methods for social network analysis, including a general structural equation modeling framework for analyzing network data.
“The subjects of psychological research are human beings — who are born networkers,” he said. “Social network analysis provides a natural way to understand how people communicate with each other, as well as how such interaction is related to behavior.”
SMEP, a small, selective society that facilitates high-level research and interaction among its affiliates, is limited to 65 active members.
Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology now has seven members in the society — the highest number of any department in the country. Ying Cheng, Gitta Lubke, Scott Maxwell, and Ke-Hai Yuan are also members.
Lubke, Maxwell, Yuan, and Guangjian Zhang are also past recipients of the Cattell Award.
“Notre Dame has one of the best quantitative psychology programs in the world, and I am fortunate to be a part of it,” Zhiyong Zhang said. “That has greatly advanced my research.
“During my tenure here, it has been wonderful to see how our program has grown, and I am particularly proud that our graduate students are being placed in top universities across the U.S.”