WHERE ARE THEY? Geographical Origins and Birthplaces

Home Background
Women in Psychology
Personality Characteristics
Interests of Psychologists
Attitudes of Psychologists
Great Periods
Great Men and Women

Note: Not to be reproduced without permission of author.

Ronald W. Mayer

San Francisco State University


So there we have it. We have come full circle. We have looked at the systems and theories of several hundred persons and at two thousand years of thought about the mind.

What will the psychology of the future be like? It is difficult to say. It is even difficult to say what psychology is now. Recent reports seem to indicate that psychology and psychologists are changing significantly from what the field was known as a generation ago. Goodstein (1988) conclusively pointed out the changing nature of the discipline, by showing that the percentage of experimental doctorates has declined significantly while the number of health care professionals has increased in the last few years.

But much of what passes for psychology today is very little different from the kind of thinking of the ancient Greeks two thousand years ago. Psychology emerged mostly from philosophy and a little from physiology. Much contemporary psychology is philosophy. the theories of Rogers and Maslow and May would not be thought by Aristotle or by Plato as particularly odd. In fact, except for certain manners, language,and dress,the third force psychologists of today would not appear foreign in the academic circles of the Greek Lyceum.

But on the physical and physiological side, much has changed. The mind receives information from the outside world by way of the senses, essentially the same as identified by Aristotle. But the influence of drugs and the function of the nervous system are fields of study much advanced. Surely the work of Hebb and of Penfield and Roberts on the localized function of the brain would be startling revelations for the Greeks. Darwin's evidence that man developed from lower species, Lorenz' studies on imprinting, Pavlov's work on conditioning, Skinner's schedules of reinforcement, and cognitive theories of intelligence patterned after computer science would all be truly novel.

But the general quest remains the same -- namely, what is reality (or ontology)? Is reality something physical and material as Epicurus would hold; or is it ideas and abstractions as Plato and Berkeley and other idealists maintain. Or are there two realities, mind and matter, as Descartes argued? And, if so, do they interact, as Descartes believed, or do they form independent but parallel realities as Leibnitz and as Fechner maintained.

The other central question is -- from whence comes knowledge? Does knowledge come from God, as revealed truth? Or is knowledge innate? Are the faculties of the mind innate, permitting the mind to organize and retain new information, thus leaving all other aspects of the mind as products of experience? Or, does knowledge come completely and passively from experience, from the environment? Are sensations impressed upon a tabula rasa as the British empiricists would hold? Most modern experimental psychology seems to have adopted this latter point of view. The problem with this approach, however, is the necessity of accounting for how the elements of the mind get connected together so as to form complex ideas. The laws of association, as they are called, attempt to account for complex ideas and they constitute much of our contemporary learning theory. These principles have been used both by the mentalists and the materialists. The former are concerned only with the mental stuff of human experience; and the latter, the behaviorists, are concerned only with overt observable phenomena, wishing not to struggle with such abstractions as "mind" and "ideas."

In our attempt to understand the nature of psychology, we have looked at some of the definitions of what psychology is by a variety of writers who call themselves psychologists (Unit 1). But we have discovered very little agreement. Another approach to this problem is to look at psychologists themselves and what they do. In this chapter we review the breadth of employment, training, and personality characteristics of psychologists. We look also at those periods of strength and weakness in psychology. Lastly, we look at some of the psychologists identified as great persons.

This unit primarily describes psychologists themselves. Which psychologists are selected for study and what persons do the research naturally biases the results. But we will attempt as much breadth as possible. Let us turn first of all to the fields in which psychologists are employed.


The range of psychological activities is indeed great. Few professions exist which laymen envisage a psychologist as a "head shrinker"-- one who combines magic with insight, capable of explaining a predicting the most insignificant quirks of human behavior. Psychologists are frequently compared to and confused with psychiatrists. Or they are conceived of as counselors. And, psychologists are sometimes depicted as bearded scientists in white coats training rats to jump hurdles. None of the conceptions is wrong; but none is clearly right.

The wide variety of activities found among persons engaged in work called psychology includes such things as administering tests to mentally and physically handicapped persons, counseling in the dean of students' offices on a college campus, collecting data on the problems of the aged, preparing materials for televised programs on the teaching of mathematics, resolving conflicts between exasperated teachers and irate parents, investigating how blindness in cats explains the accident rate of airline pilots, studying the ease with which mechanical knobs turn counter or clockwise, testing the taste differences between various samples of formulae for liquor production, analyzing peer ratings to predict job success, comparing body weight to political skill, devising statistical formulae for assessing intellectual skills.


The breadth of work activities of psychologists was as great 50 years ago as it is today. One of the more thorough studies of the fields of psychologists was undertaken by Brett and Morgan in 1946. They conducted a mail survey of military psychologists during World War II to determine their activities prior to military service. Questionnaires were mailed to all psychologists in military training during the war. Of the 1,710 questionnaires mailed, 968 were returned. The principle fields of specialization of these psychologists prior to military service are reported in Table 1.

Table I Specializations in World War II

Clinical, counseling, guidance 27.5
Educational 12.3
Personnel and Industrial 10.6
Abnormal 19.7
Statistics and test construction 9.0
Laboratory sensation and perception 7.1
Social 5.9
Child and developmental 4.5
Physiological 3.2
Other or no answer 10.0

(Brett and Morgan, 1946, p. 428)

Most psychologists were engaged in clinical and personnel work. This was true for all branches of service and for officers and enlisted men. The principal employment of these psychologists prior to their entry into military service was also clinical psychology, as evidenced by the percentages for each function as in Table 2.

Table II Employment Prior to Service

Individual diagnosis, counseling, testing 28.1
Teaching 21.3
Research 12.0
Test construction 6.8
Industrial or personnel work 6.5
Administration 5.6
Special training and re-education 2.5
(Brett and Morgan, 1946, p. 427)

It is doubtful whether these data have changed substantially during the intervening years. A description of the various psychological fields within psychology was made by Carroll L.Shartle (1946) in conjunction with the National Research Council and with the American Psychological Association. Shartle studied the job analysis questionnaires for approximately 250 positions. The major job titles were as in Table 3.

Table 3. Major Job Titles after World War II.

Consulting psychologist
Court psychologist
College counselor
College educational research
Employment counselor
Employment interviewer
Occupational analyst
Vocational Counselor
Public opinion surveyor
Research psychologist

Psychologist, child guidance clinic
Psychologist, retarded, physically handicapped, hospital for insane, juvenile correction, penal institution
Personnel examiner and technician
Personnel psychologist, industry
Personnel technician, industry

(Shartle, 1946, pp. 580-83)


Where are psychologists located -- in what institutions, and in what parts of the country? The answers to these questions depends on current interests, demands, and federal financing of grants and training centers. Geographically, most psychologists are located on either the Eastern or Western coasts and in urban rather than in rural centers. This is as would be expected. Clark (1957) studied the differences in employment between significant contributors to psychology and members of a random control group. They were employed in 1954 as in Table 4.

Geographical Origins and Birthplace. The birthplaces of eminent psychologists may be of some significance if early child development is a major determiner of adult life. Bakan (1966), for example, has suggested that many behaviorists have come from rural and small town areas, consistent with their interest in animal psychology and naturalistic explanations. The more tender minded psychologists (humanists, existentialists, etc.) on the other hand, have come from urban and European centers, where intellectual values are more highly valued.

Table 4 Percentage of Significant Contributors by

Place of Employment Sig. Cont.

College or university 82 53
Federal government 6 14
Private industry 4 6
Non-profit organiz. (incl. hosp.) 4 8
Private industry; self employed 3 7
Other educational institutions

1 6
State and local government 0 6

(Clark, 1957, p. 67)

The large percentage of significant contributors were located in colleges or universities, while only ten percent were in industry, six per cent in government, and four per cent in nonprofit organizations. On the other hand, only half of the random controls were in colleges or universities; 20 percent were in some form of government work (federal, state, or local) . Perhaps the competition and conflict between the applied and the theoretical psychologists which exists today within the American Psychological Association is of a similar division.


Home Background Most studies of psychologists reveal that they come from homes which are frequently religious. This fact may be surprising in the l990s, but it is not surprising within the context of nineteenth and early twentieth century American psychology. An earlier America was clearly religious. Secondly, and more importantly, professionals frequently came from minister's families, since education was the route to an informed clergy. The clergy were not only highly educated but possessed personal libraries for further study. Third, psychologists have frequently been interested in philosophical questions similar to those of the clergy, though each would have different answers to the questions: What is human nature? Why do persons differ? The clergy is more concerned with questions of morals -- why some persons are good and some are bad. The psychologist is concerned with questions of learning and efficiency -- why are some bright, some dull; some are motivated and others lazy; some learn and some do not.

Training Where do psychologists train? Do some institutions produce more eminent psychologists than do other institutions? Does the institution produce the great person, or does the great person choose the institution? This issue has no clear answer; there is some evidence for both sides of the question.

What are the prestigious institutions? Studies attempting to assess institutional eminence have used a number of statistics: the number of doctorates awarded; the number of faculty receiving a Nobel Prize; membership of faculty in honorary societies such as the National Academy of Sciences; and, more frequently, the number of publications by the faculty.

Several studies by the American Council on Education have attempted to rank the schools. A 1971 study reported in the San Francisco Examiner asked faculty members to rate graduate schools by academic discipline. the highest ranked schools in psychology were as follows:

biological science to physics and mathematics, and he shifted from biological science to physics and

1. Stanford University
2. University of Michigan
3. University of California, Berkeley
4. Harvard University
5. University of Illinois

A 1980's study questioned college presidents and produced similar results, although Berkeley ranked second. But a 1988 study using a different sample (college admissions officers and other student oriented administrators) placed Stanford and Berkeley both significantly lower in the list.

Most studies of higher education in the United States during the last quarter century show a shift from preference for the private institutions to that of large state and especially the land grant institutions. Increased government spending for research and applied programs at public institutions has produced corresponding increases in the number of graduate students, the quality of available instruction, and the attractiveness of the institution.

Most early 20th century American psychologists during the first half of this century were trained in large private schools. More frequently now, however, most psychologists have come from public land grant schools. Eminent psychologists, however, still more frequently emerge from private, prestige schools.

Degrees held. The appropriate degree for the psychologists in the United States has long been the Ph.D., a research degree. The fact that it is a broader degree is supported by the fact that many Ph.D. psychologists have entered graduate work in psychology with baccalaureate degrees in such diverse fields as engineering, biology, mathematics, and education. More recently, the applied, technical degree of Doctor of Psychology (Ph.D.), has been introduced in some of the private clinical training institutions. It is doubtful that this will ever, in the near future at least, be anywhere near as desirable as the Ph.D., though some argue that for clinical work, such a degree should signal a more concrete and realistic training.

Nevertheless, wherever state licensing and credential laws have permitted master's level psychologists to function in the schools, mental health clinics, and various other state agencies, there has been an increase in the number of psychologists who now hold the Master's degree. This is especially notable in the ballooned nature of the American Psychological Association and the consequent claim by many members that the association has lost its distinctive scientific flavor, provoking many scientists to abandon ship, as they did in the summer of 1989 to found a new society, the American Psychological Society.

Changes in Training. Training of psychologists in the past decade has shifted from the more rigorous fields of biological and mathematical areas (still emphasized, however, by most prestige graduate schools) to the more humanistic fields of social service and community involvement. As the number of master's level persons has increased psychology has shifted toward a more service centered profession, increasing also the divisiveness between opposing factions within the profession. Without the opportunity for hindsight, one must wonder about the future quality of education in the United States. As the pressures increase to recognize and cater to special interest groups, education will be molded by political rather than by intellectual considerations. Perhaps that will produce a kind of Utopia; possibly not.


Because psychologists have long been concerned with the place of minority groups in various occupations and because the role of women is of special concern within the profession, a somewhat extended discussion will be made of the role of women in psychology. Because the interest in this area and the amount of research has exploded in recent years, full justice cannot be done. (It should be noted that concern about and research on Black and Hispanic psychologists continues unabated; still, it is not at the level of research regarding women psychologists.) We can only touch at this time and in this tentative draft on a few issues and a few studies. A number of excellent studies have been published in The American Psychologist during the 1970's and 80's and the discerning student should consult them. Margaret Rossiter's excellent book (1982) on women scientists is also an excellent reference. While this author takes issue with the proposition that all of the sex variance in psychology can be explained by discrimination, the literature supporting that point of view should be consulted (and will be addressed in later revisions of this unit). The number of women employed as psychologists, while larger than in many other professions, has been considerably less than one might expect from the population at large. Have universities differed in the opportunities they provided for female students?

One of the earliest studies of women in psychology was by Bryan and Boring (1946). They summarized 4500 questionnaires sent out by the Office of Psychological Personnel, covering a large number of questions. The 3,710 returns were received in January, 1944. twenty-nine per cent of the returns were from women, approximately the same as the proportion of women (30 percent) in the original population. There were differences in the study between the men and women as to the schools from which they obtained the doctoral degrees. Some colleges and universities have, by history or because of the programs offered, produced a larger number of female psychologists. The schools producing large numbers of psychology doctorates, conferring 20 or more Ph.D. degrees, were in order, for men and women, as follows:

Numbers of Doctorates by Sex
At American Universities

Men Women
Columbia 278 Columbia 144
Iowa 146 Chicago 44
Harvard 144 Iowa 41
Chicago 122 Minnesota 37
Ohio State 109 Yale 27
Yale 85 Ohio State 25

(Bryan and Boring, 1946, p. 73)

The schools which were the leaders in the proportion of degrees awarded to women, irrespective of the number of doctorates awarded, were as follows:

Minnesota 37
California 35
Columbia 34
Michigan 32
Nebraska 30

These five schools, then, produced a disproportionately high number of female doctorates -- more than existed in the population as a whole. It appears that the reason may be that these schools specialize in programs frequently identified with traditional job roles of women. These are those major fields in psychology which stress human interactions and helping relationships -- child psychology, educational psychology, and clinical psychology. In 1944, women composed the following percentages of psychologists in each of the following settings:

Schools and educational systems 62
Clinics, guidance centers 61
Hospitals, custodial institutions 56
Self-employment 40
Prisons 34
Consulting organizations 31
Public personnel agencies 29
Universities and colleges 26
Business and industry 22
War agencies 15

(Bryan and Boring, 1946, p. 75)

Preference or discrimination. Have women been discriminated against in either training or job placement? Bryan and Boring claim that discrimination against women psychologists may not be as pervasive as appears at first glance. The work which many omen prefer to do may not be greatly different from the kind of work that many actually do. Many women prefer those jobs which they have historically performed -- personal relations, child rearing, teaching, work requiring verbal skills. Culture, on the other hand, has placed less value on and thus less monetary support for these areas. Thus, both by choice and discrimination, women have generally been engaged in jobs which pay less -- clinical and school psychology, for example,than other kinds of jobs, i.e., college teaching and business, which pay more. Income differences between male and female psychologists, therefore, may reflect differences in work preferences as well as job discrimination.

Do men and women differ in the preferences which they have for different kinds of psychological employment? Bryan and Boring studied the preferences of male and female psychologists for different kinds of employment. The percentages are as follows:

% %
Women Men
College teaching 33 50
Clinical work 29 8
School psychologist 13 4
Personnel work in business 8 14
College personnel work 8 7
Vocational guidance 2 2
Industrial research 2 6
Other 7 5

(Adapted from Bryan and Boring, 1946, p. 75)

It is apparent that both men and women preferred college teaching. The women, however, found clinical work almost equally desirable. Clinical and school psychology were preferred by 42% of the women but only by 12% of the men. Almost two thirds of the men preferred college teaching or business personnel.

That there are fewer women trained in some academic fields than in others undoubtedly results from conditioning in early childhood and from opportunities for role modeling. Controlled studies in these areas, however, are, or course, difficult to make.

Martha White, in a paper (1970) entitled "Psychological and social barriers to women in science," suggests that there are many non-academic kinds of learnings that are important for professional success and depend upon social and institutional experiences which have traditionally not been as frequently available, for a number of reasons, to the female.

Regardless of whether there are large numbers of women available to fill job openings in various fields, is there corresponding discrimination against those women who do apply? Fidell (1970) presented evidence that women are discriminated against in job hiring. Fictitious descriptions of potential employees, identical in everything but sex, were sent to department chairmen. Those applicants with male names received higher ratings for hiring and were offered higher academic positions than were those with female names, even though the two applications were identical. Further, Alexander ". . . reports that salaries for women employed in higher education are generally lower (Lewin and Duchan, 1971, p. 892)."

1984 data (can't find reference) for fields with greater than 50% women

Home Economics 80%
Art history74
Romance languages 59
social work56
antrhopology 51
audiology/speech 65
english 58
education 51


Are affirmative action policies making a difference? Yes, but the trend to enter those fields heavily weighted with women appears to be substantially the same. In a recent study, McCarthy and Wolfle (1975) report the percentage of doctorates awarded to women in various academic fields. Those fields awarding large numbers of doctorates to women were Home Economics (79%), art history( 53%), romance languages (46%), etc., with social work and psychology being among those fields offering more than 30% of its doctorates to women. On the other hand, engineering, physics, business administration and other fields such as geology, mathematics, economics, astronomy, etc., were low in numbers of doctorates awarded to women. They summarize these data by stating that:

"There are few surprises in either list. In general, women constitute prominent percentages in those fields in which traditionally they have held significant number of doctorates, and they remain few in those fields in which traditionally that has been the case. In percentage terms, the trend is upward in nearly all fields, but in some it will be difficult to increase the number of women faculty members rapidly because the absolute numbers of degrees awarded are so small (p. 857)."

In the early study by Bryan and Boring (1947), they compared women and men psychologists on a number of factors. All women Ph.D.'s in 1921-1940 were matched where possible with a male Ph.D. of the same age and from the same institution. Of the 880 persons who received questionnaires, 426 of them replied. Women Ph.D's tended to come from families with more favorable educational backgrounds then did men. The mothers of the women more frequently had professional positions than did the mothers of men. The fathers of the women came more frequently from jobs higher in the occupational scale than did the fathers of the men. Both the men and women appeared to be satisfied with their profession, although the women more frequently experienced conflict between their profession and their marriage. There seemed to be no difference between women and men in the number of professional organizations to which they belonged or the number of offices in which they held positions.

Productivity. Are women less productive than men? In the Bryan and Boring (1947) study, a difference was found in the amount of time spent in research and writing. The men spent almost twice the time as did the women. Differential family responsibilities were apparently not crucial factors; this difference in research and writing was present in both full and part time employees and for both married and unmarried women. There was no difference among full time employees between the married and the unmarried women in the amount of time (3.3 hours) spent per week in research and writing; men spent 6.3 hours per week. Of those employed less than full time, the married woman spent 2.9 hours and the unmarried woman spent 2.3 hours; but men spent 3.9 hours per week.

Do women publish fewer books or journal articles? In a study of productive psychologists, Clark (1957) reported that the numbers of females among the list of significant contributors was significantly lower than the number of males. Of the 150 significant contributors to psychology, only 8 (or 5%) of them were women, while the 601 random controls contained 158 (or 28%) women.

A more recent study, however, by Simon, Clark and Galway (1967) presents data to suggest that there is very little difference between the productivity of men and women psychologists on such things as the publication of books and articles. Married women, in fact, published more books than did unmarried women. And unmarried women in many fields tended to be on more committees and to hold more professional offices than did either married woman or men. Perhaps women are becoming more productive or men less productive as the culture changes.

Prominent women in psychology. During American psychology's first fifty years there were few women who gained distinction either as contributors to theory or research, or as leaders in the profession. Noteworthy, however, should be mentioned three women: Christine Ladd-Franklin, Mary Whitcomb Calkins, and Margaret Floy Washburn, all of whom were leaders during the first two decades after the founding of the American Psychological Association. These three women were the only ones starred out of 50 psychologists in Cattell's first edition of the American Men of Science. Cattell had initiated a peer rating system whereby scientists within each field ranked those who were the most prominent. With each subsequent edition, additional persons received high rankings and were thus starred, bringing the total to 132 for the seven editions between 1903 and 1943. Additional women starred brought their total to eight -- June Downey, Florence Goodenough, Ethel P. Howes, Lillien Martin, and Helen Woolley.

In a study by Annin, Boring, and Watson (1968), specialists in the history of psychology were asked to rate 1040 psychologists as to their level of recognition. A rating of 3 was given if the psychologist was so distinquished as to be placed among psychology's top 500; a rating of 2 if a contribution of the person could be identified, and a rating of 1 if the name was merely recognized. If all nine of the raters agreed (i.e. gave a 3 rating) the score for any one psychologist would be 27, the highest possible score. Below are the summer ratings for the higher ranked women psychologists. Several persons (Horney, Montessori, and Benedict) are perhaps more clearly identified with fields other than psychology (e.g., psychiatry, anthropology, etc.). Psychologists with scores below 16 are virtually unknown.

Calkins, Mary Whiton 25
Washburn, Margaret Floy 23
Horney, Karen 23
Ladd-Franklin, Christine 22
Montessori, Maria 21
Frenkel-Brunswik, Else 19
Benedict, Ruth 16

In a study of gifted women psychologists, Bachtold and Werner (1970) administered 16 PF Inventory to 124 successful female psychologists to obtain personality profiles and discovered that the women, in comparison to women in general, college women, and successful academic men were more intelligent, radical, socially aloof, etc. These results might suggest that those women who do achieve are also more capable and more independent.

When historians of psychology rank psychologists on the basis of their contributions to psychological theory (Coan and Zagona, 1962), not a single woman surfaces to the top. Horney was ranked 45th and Frenkel-Brunswick was ranked 74. No other females were within the first 75 names.

In recent years, however, increasing numbers of women psychologists hAve made an impact on the development of psychology in the United States. For two consecutive years, women have been elected President of the American Psychological Association, the highest recognition bestowed on any member. Anne Anastasi was President in 1972 and Leona Tyler was President in 1973. This was the first time in over 50 years that a woman was elected President. Other women who have been distinquished by election to national office in the Association have been Mary Calkins, President in 1905 and Member of Council, 1906-08; Mary Floy Washburn, Member of Council, 1912-14, and President, 1921; June E. Downey, Member of Council, 1923-25; Edna Heidbreder, Member of Council, 1942-44; Dorothy C. Adkins, Secretary, 1950-1952; Anne Anastasi, Secretary, 1953-55; Anne Roe, Council, 1963-65; Anastasi, Council, 1969-71; Dorothy Eichorn, Council, 1970-72.

This is not a very long list of women in an Association spanning 81 years and a current membership of over 30,000, especially when over a third of the membership are women. It is possible, however, that discrimination is not as severe as one might believe. It is doubtful that in a field where over 30% of the persons were females able to survive the rigors of graduate selection and awarded degrees, that members of the discipline would reverse themselves and withhold honors and distinctions. National offices do go to those persons who are more prominently known by virtue of their productivity.


What motivates a man to go into psychology? Or, what are the personality patterns which differentiate psychologists from other professional or scientific groups. William James, in his famous characterization, divided psychologists into two major groups -- tough minded and tender minded. The division was roughly one of experimentalists and clinicians; or those who were laboratory vs. applied; or those who were general vs. those who were social-personality theorists. James thought that the differences among these psychologists was both attitudinal and personal.

The tough minded psychologist was more organized, rigid, and intellectual while the tender minded was flexible, imaginative and creative. Each group thought that the other was unacceptable.

Personality. Anne Roe, studied the personalities of different occupational groups, conducted in depth interviews of prominent members of different professional groups, and reports in her Psychology of Occupations, 1956, on 14 eminent psychologists. Of this group, 10 were experimentalists, 3 were social and developmental psychologists, and one was a clinician. She discovered that these eminents came from families characterized by overprotection and firm control and that the psychologists had conflicts about dominance and authority and had developed rather dependent attitudes. They expressed their aggression freely, possessed strong social interests, and were concerned with social status. They appeared to possess early in life interests in English literature, yet their nonverbal scores were higher than their verbal test scores.

Roe (1956) administered the Rorschach test to 104 university psychologists and discovered that their interest in people was more marked than was the interest of other scientists, and that they had better intellectual control and better general adjustment than did other scientists.

Interests. Probably the most sophisticated instrument for the study of occupational interests is the Strong Vocational Interest Blank, which yields scores for different occupations. The psychologist key reflects the degree to which one individual's interests are similar to interests of successful psychologists. The norm group for the Strong test was the past APA presidents. Campbell (1965) analyzed the scoring patterns of 43 of the past presidents of the American Psychological Association, all from 1910 to 1964, and reported his findings in 1965. A comparison group of average psychologists, constituting 89% of APA members who were five years past their Ph.D. in 1948. In general, Campbell found that the presidents had higher than average interests in the physical sciences and lower in social service.

The Presidents, in comparison to the control group, had higher scores on the following scales: physicist, mathematician, engineer, chemist, and physician. The Presidents were lower than the comparison groups on these scales: Life insurance salesman, Moritician, YMCA physical education director, Social science teacher, Personnel manager.

It should be noted that the presidents of the APA do not represent abilities or interests typical of most psychologists. Aside from the fact that they are eminent by almost any standard, these psychologists tend to be prominent primarily because of achievement in American psychology where biological and physical science laboratory methods are emulated. Understandably then, their interests patterns parallel those of the physical scientist more closely than the social service professions.

Baas (1950) conducted a study, reported by Roe (1956), in which the Kuder Interest Inventory was used, to survey experienced psychologists. The pattern of interests on the Kuder test revealed high scores on the Science and Literary scales and low scores on mechanical, Persuasiveness, and Clerical scales. It should be noted that on the Kuder Test, scores on one scale automatically affect the scores on another scale. A high score on one scale will automatically depress scores on other scales. It is not possible, therefore, to obtain universally high or low scores on all scales.

Attitudes of Psychologists. A number of researchers have studied attitudes of various occupational groups. Robert L. Thorndike (1955) constructed a scale to assess the value systems of psychologists. The scale was constructed by having 125 Fellows of the American Psychological Association rate triads of names representing different fields of interest in psychology. Nine scales were formed and factor analyzed. Some of the scales were dropped in subsequent studies and five scales remained and were reviewed in Clark (1957) as based on Thorndike's 1955 paper. The five scales were:

I. Helping Individuals
II. Experimenting
III. Working in Industry
IV. Scholarship
V. Administering

It has been long known that the social attitudes of psychologists are more liberal than those of other groups. Eysenck (1955), in a study of well known psychologists used a public opinion inventory to measure those dimensions defined by James as "tough-mindedness-tender-mindedness," and by Eysenck as "Radicalism-conservatism." The psychologists in his sample appeared to be Anti-religious and pro-humanitarian. This finding is consistent with a study by Mayer (1958) showing that psychologists and other social scientists were the least likely, even among the scientific groups, to believe in a personal God and in immortality.


Great Periods. There have been peaks in the history of psychology when psychology, psychologists, or psychological concern by the general public has been higher than usual. There are four such periods. First, during the Classical Greek period, science and the search for knowledge were advanced n almost all fields and psychology, subsequently, received considerable impetus. Aristotle emphasized the importance of the sense organs as a source of knowledge and mental content and this led eventually to psychological empiricism. Plato later emphasized the importance of the brain as the coordinator and integrator of personal activities.

The second great period in the development of psychology came during the seventeenth century, when science separated from speculative philosophy, forging new methods for new information. Bacon in the sixteenth century and English scholars at Cambridge later sought to discover new methods for knowledge and ushered in "natural philosophy," which later became known as "science." Gradually, each field of philosophy began to break away from Mother philosophy and became specialized areas of inquiry -- astronomy, physics, chemistry, physiology, and eventually psychology. But the beginnings were in seventeenth century England.

The third great period in the development of psychology was in the nineteenth century. Wundt combined Fechner's new psychophysical methods with physiological methods in an attempt to attack basic questions in philosophy. The excitement and enthusiasm which was generated caught fire among the young philosophers of the day. From all corners of the Western world, from every major academic institution, young scholars made a pilgrimage to Leipzig to study under Wundt and learn the new methods which were so revolutionary. Some of the older philosophers went to Leipzig also. For the most part, however, it was a younger man's revolution and pilgrimage.

The fourth great period was in the mid twentieth century. After World War II, the federal government issued massive grants for the training of specialists in the applied sciences and technologies. Facilities and funds also became available at the local level for hiring new graduates. Both job opportunities and salaries skyrocketed and, for several decades, even exceeded past opportunities in other fields where psychology had previously taken second place.

The Great Men. Each generation awards its accolades to its great men -- those making contributions to the culture, the technology, or to the emotional life of the community. Such persons constitute the Hall of Fame of any nation. And each sub group has its own Hall of Fame. The procedures by which individuals are so distinguished differ from culture to culture and from sub-group to sub-group. There are numerous theories which attempt to explain the methods and the individuals who are so honored. Some procedures for identifying such persons are: l) peer ratings -- peers often know best the skills of their fellow workers and so elevate them either by election or by common consent. 2) objective standards -- such as the number of contributions made, number of publications, number of inventions or discoveries. 3) impact of the contribution -- some persons become great simply by the single impact of their one major discovery and, because of its value to the group, because of the way it influences other researchers he becomes a contender for recognition. Columbus did my great things, but the one contribution for which he is noted is his discovery of America. If he had returned to Spain without sighting land in the new world he would have been forgotten. Madame Curie was a great scientist by any standard, but her identification of uranium secured forever a position for her in the physicists Hall of Fame.

Why do great men become great? Is it genius in the man himself, some special skill or creativity? Or is it an accident of the times? If the times make for the discovery then could any intelligent man make the contribution? Between these two opposing points of view, the notion that some persons inherit special characteristics and the notion that conditions in the environment produce greatness, there is some middle ground which most theorists would probably take.

Carlisle, the great historian, represents the one position, that the Great Man is born, not made by the times. Galton, Cattell, and other psychologists would agree with Carlisle. John Jay Chapman in his "Emerson," from the Selected Writings of John Jay Chapman, and quoted in the New York Times Magazine, February 16, 1958. probably well summarizes this point of view.

Great men are not always like wax which their age imprints. They are often the mere negation and opposite of their age. They give it the lie. They become by revolt the very essence of all the age is not, and that part of the spirit which is suppressed in ten thousand breasts gets lodged, isolated, and breaks into utterance in one.

Most contemporary psychologists do not explain eminence by reference to the Great Man theory. In the twentieth century, at least, environmentalism and cultural relativism are major explanations. Boring, in the 1929 edition of his History of Experimental Psychology, argued for a Great Man explanation. In his second edition in 1931 he had fairly well discarded that point of view in favor of a more modified position, one which emphasized the importance of the Zeitgeist. But the person is always the carrier of the culture or the idea. And it is inconceivable that the time will come when certain discoveries or theorists would be referenced simply as "1963x[fn32]", the particular time when the theory or finding emerged. Further, the nature of being human is an interest in the humanness of nature and that role which man has played across the centuries. The Great Man theory while not an adequate explanation of the emergence of an idea, is an always appealing one.

Numerous studies have attempted to identify psychology's great. Cattell, in the first edition of American Men of Science, inaugurated a system where members of a scientific discipline rated colleagues within their field. Those 1000 individuals receiving the highest ratings were "starred" in later editions of this biographical reference work.

This peer rating method in 1906 yielded 50 starred psychologists. James Sanford Cattell Calkins Muensterberg Bryan Hall Fullerton Baldwin Stratton Titchener Thorndike Royce Delabarre Ladd Scripture Dewey Ladd-Franklin Jastor Marshall
The first ten are: The second ten are:


A related question is whether the scientific contribution, regardless of whether it is the man or the times, is made within or outside of the academic marketplace. Prince Peter Kropotkin claimed that researchers and discoverers in science (of note) occur outside the established academic -- either by independently wealthy or poverty stricken men. Feuer (1971) calls this "Kropotkin's hypothesis."

The Zeitgeist is not just some impersonal or objective environmental phenomenon which shapes the man. Hadley Cantril, at least, addresses this point by suggesting that our movement though our environment is a product of our perception and that the environment in turn is creative in shaping the individual's perception. For Cantril, then, there is a feedback relationship between the individual's perception and the environment's effect upon that perception (Kilpatrick, 1969).

A more recent study, Coan and Zagona (1962), had historians of psychology rank other psychologists as to their contribution to psychological theory. This study was restricted to those psychologists prominent in 1880-1950, known for their contributions to theory rather than for contributions to research findings or methodology. Psychologists prominent during each of seven decades were ranked from 1 to 10, and then overall rankings, regardless of decade of contribution, were made for the entire list.

On the overall rankings, those psychologists judged as the top ten in contributions to psychological theory, are as follows:

1. Freud
2. Hull
3. Wundt
4. Pavlov
5. Watson
6. Thorndike
7. James
8. Wertheimer
9. Tolman
10. Lewin

The top three theorists for any one decade is as follows:
1880-90 Wundt, James, Helmholtz
1890-00 James, Wundt, Dewey
1900-10 Freud, Titchener, Thorndike
1910-20 Watson, Wertheimer, Freud
1920-30 Freud, Watson, Kohler
1930-40 Hull, Tolman, Lewin
1940-50 Hull, Tolman, Skinner
1950-60 Skinner, Hebb, Harlow

A more comprehensive study of eminent psychologists was conducted by Annin, Boring, and Watson. They asked nine historians of psychology to rate 1,040 names as (3) if the individual should be among the 500 great psychologists; (2) can identify their contribution; (l) if the name was merely familiar. The list of psychologists was wide and varied and included names of psychiatrists, anthropologists, and biologists from the seventeenth century through the twentieth century, but included no living psychologists. The ratings (0-3) for each name were then summed; the highest possible score (for 9 raters) would be 27, if all nine raters assigned a three to one man. There were 53 names receiving a score of 27, and they are as follows:

Hume, David
Adler, Alfred Dewey, John James, William
Allport, G. W. Ebbinghaus, Hermann Janet, Pierre
Angell, J. R. Fechner, G. T. Jung, C. G.
Bekhterev, V. M. Freud, Sigmund Kohler, Wolfgang
Binet, Alfred Galton, Francis Koffka, Kurt
Brentano, Franz Hall, G. S. Kraepelin, Emil
Cannon, W. B. Helmholtz, H.L.F. Kulpe, Oswald
Charcot, J. M. Herbart, J. F. Lashley, K. S.
Darwin, Charles Hering, Ewald Locke, John
Descartes, Rene Hull, C . L .

McDougall, William Sherrington, C. S. Tolman, E. C.
Mill, James Spearman, C. E. Watson, J. B.
Mill, J. S. Spencer, Herbert Weber, E. H.
Morgan, C. L. Stumpf, Carl Wertheimer, Max
Pavlov, I. P. Terman, L. M. Woodworth, R. S.
Pearson, Karl Thorndike, E. L. Wundt, Wilhelm
Pieron, Henri Thurstone, L. L. Yerkes, R. M.
Rubin, E. J. Titchener, E. B.

The fact that a person is not listed in this group of 53 does not mean he is not among psychology's all time greats. Many with scores of 26 or 25 might well be rated by other judges as among the top. One can be sure, however, that anyone appearing in this first group of 53 is among the more prominent of any group of psychologists.

For comparison, the psychologists who received an average score of 18 represents those individuals who received on the average a score of 2 by each judge, indicating that something was known about them but nothing sufficiently prominent to be place them among psychology's list of 500 greats. You might also agree in general with these two lists of individuals.

Alexander Duncker Plateau
Esquirol Rayleigh
Beaunis Exner Seguin
Fere Small
Brett Fernberger Wiener
Fritsch Ziehen
Brill Goldscheider
Coue Hitzig
Crozier Kluckhohn
Dessoir Messer
Driesch Pintner


Bachtold, Louise and Emmy E. Werner. Personality profiles of gifted women: psychologists. American Psychologist, 1970, 24, 234-243.

Annin, Edith, Edwin Boring,and Robert I. Watson. Important psychologists, 1600-1967. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 1968, 4, 303-315.

Bakan, David. Behaviorism and American urbanization. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 1966, 2, 5-28.

Bryan, Alice I. and Edwin G. Boring. Women in American psychology: statistics from the OPP questionnaire. American Psychologist, 1946, 1, 71-79 .

Bryan,Alice I. and Edwin G. Boring. Women in American psychology: factors affecting their professional careers. American Psychologist, 1947, 2, 3-20.

Clark, Kenneth E. America's psychologists; a survey of a growing profession. Washington, American Psychological Association, 1957.

Coan, Richard W. and Salvatore V. Zagona. Contemporary ratings of psychological theorists. Psycholoical Record, 1962, 12, 315-322.

Feuer, Lewis, S. The social roots of Einstein's theory of relativity. Part I. Annals of Science, 1971, 27, 277-298.

Fidell, Linda S. Empirical verification of sex discrimination in hiring practices in psychology. American Psychologist, 1970, 25, 1094-1098.

Goodstein, Leonard D. Report of the Executive Vice President: 1987; The growth of the American Psychological Association. American Psychologist, 43, 491-498.

Kash, Don E., Irvin L. White, John W. Reuss, and Joseph Leo. University affiliation and recognition: National Academy of Sciences. Science, 1972, 175, 1076-1084.

Lewin, Arie Y. and Linda Duchan. Women in academia: a study of the hiring decision in departments of physical science. Science, 1971, '72, 892-895.

McCarthy, Joseph & Wolfle. Doctorates granted to women and minority. . . Science, 1975, 189, 856-859.

Roe, Anne. The Psychology of occupations. New York: Wiley, 1956.

Rossiter, Margaret W. Women Scientists in America: Struggles and Strategies to 1940. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982.

San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle. Report on the ACE study of top graduate schools, January 10, 1971.

Scarborough, Elizabeth and Laurel Furumoto. Untold Lives: the First Generation of American Women Psychologists. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987.

Shartle, Carroll L. Occupations in psychology. American psychologist, 1946, 1, 559-582.

Simon, Rita James, Clark and Galway. The woman Ph.D.: a recent profile. Social Problems, 1967, 15, 221-236.

Thorndike, Robert L. The structure of preferences for psychological activities among psychologists. American Psychologists, 1955, 10, 205-207.

Thorndike, Robert L. The psychological value systems of psychologists. American psychologist, 1954, 9, 787-89.

White, Martha. Psychological and social barriers to women in science. Science, 1970, 170, 413-416.


After scoring yourself, remember to return to all the false statements and try to make them correct. You may be able to do that in two ways -- by changing the subject and/or changing the predicate of the sentence. This way you will be alerted to all the possible important points in the unit.

1. The largest number of psychologists in 1946 and today are found in social psychology. (3)

2. There are more psychologists in industrial psychology than in teaching. (3)

3. Universities vary in the proportion of doctorates awarded to women. (7)

4. Schools with strong child psychology programs produce more women psychologists. ()

5. A larger percentage of men than women prefer to be employed as school psychologists. (8)

6. According to the study by Bryan and Boring, women and men spend the same amount of time in research and writing. (10)

7. The study by Annin, Boring, and Watson revealed that only three women rated among the 500 top psychologists. (11)

8. The current president of the American Psychological Association Anne Anastasi. (12)

9. In the Coan study, ranking contributors to psychological theory, the most visible woman was Mary Calkins. (12)

10. By far the largest number of psychologists are employed by the federal

government. (5,8)

11. There may be geographical differences in birthplaces of psychologists representing different theoretical viewpoints. (5 )

12. The recent ACE study on graduate schools ranked Berkeley as the most eminent psychology department. ( 6)

13. Traditionally, psychologists have received strong training in biology and mathematics. 6 )

14. The beginnings of modern science were in the nineteenth century. (17)

15. The World Wars have seriously hampered the development of psychology. (18)

16. Eminence in a field is determined by one's peers. (21)

17. Great men are made by the times. 20)

18. Catell's "starred" scientists were those whom he considered great men. (20)

19. There were two women among Cattell's first 20 "starred" psychologists. (21)

20. The Zeitgeist refers to one's genetic past. (20)

21. In Coan's study of major theorists, Pavlov receives the highest rating over all decades. (22)

22. In the Annin and Boring study, Skinner is among the top 53. (23)

23. Skinner would be considered a "tender minded" psychologist.

24. The Strong Vocational Interest Blank showed psychologists high on the literary scales. (l)l)

25. APA presidents have interests similar to chemists. 1

26. The attitude of psychologists tends to be anti-religious. (16)


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May 3, 2007