The centenary of a maverick

Corr, P. J. (2016). The centenary of a maverick. Psychologist, 29(3), pp. 234-239.

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Abstract

Hans J. Eysenck (1916–1997) enjoyed an extraordinary life in British psychology, much of it played out in the limelight of public attention. His fame and influence extended beyond the shores of these isles, to encompass the globe. He inspired generations of psychologists, many of whom were enthralled by his popular books that made psychology seem so vital, relevant and even urgent. His was an open invitation: arise from the supine position on the analytical couch, leap out from the comfort of the philosophical armchair, and visit the psychology laboratory – one chapter in Fact and Fiction in Psychology (Eysenck, 1965a) is titled, ‘Visit to a psychological laboratory’. His easy-to-understand causal theories of ‘what makes people tick’ (exposing the inner working of the human clock) were especially fascinating to an inquisitive public. He also courted controversy: his style of advocating change and some of the positions he took, especially on politically charged issues like race and IQ, attracted criticism of his work, and of him.

4 March 2016 would have been Hans Eysenck’s 100th birthday. This offers a timely opportunity to reflect upon the growth of psychology over the last century and Eysenck’s role in it, including an evaluation of the controversial aspects of his career. Perhaps more than any other British psychologist, his story is its story.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published by the British Psychological Society.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/16019

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