On This Day .. 12 November

People (Births)

  • 1894 – Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe, Norwegian zoologist and comparative psychologist (d. 1976).

People (Deaths)

  • 2012 – Daniel Stern, American psychologist and theorist (b. 1934).

Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe

Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe (12 November 1894 to 08 June 1976) was a Norwegian zoologist and comparative psychologist.

Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe described the pecking order of hens in his PhD dissertation of 1921. The work in his dissertation was partly based on his observations of his own chickens that he had recorded since the age of 10.

The dominance hierarchy of chickens and other birds that he studied led him to the observation that these birds had established the order in which individuals would be allowed to get to food while others would have to wait for their turn.

Daniel Stern

Daniel N. Stern (16 August 1934 to 12 November 2012) was a prominent American psychiatrist and psychoanalytic theorist, specialising in infant development, on which he had written a number of books – most notably The Interpersonal World of the Infant (1985).

Stern’s 1985 and 1995 research and conceptualisation created a bridge between psychoanalysis and research-based developmental models.

Stern was born in New York City. He went to Harvard University as an undergraduate, from 1952 to 1956. He then attended Albert Einstein College of Medicine, completing his M.D. in 1960. In 1961, Stern was member of the Freedom Riders, a group of black and white activists challenging racial segregation in the south by travelling together on bus rides.

He continued his educational career doing research at the NIH in psychopharmacology from 1962-1964. In 1964, Stern decided to specialise in psychiatric care, completing his residency at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 1972 he started a psychoanalytic education at Columbia University Centre for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.

For more than 30 years, he worked in research and practice as well in developmental psychology and psychodynamic psychotherapy.

In his research, he dedicated his time to the observation of infants and to clinical reconstruction of early experiences. His efforts continue to contribute to currently existing developmental theories.

He was well known as an expert researcher of early affective mother-child bonding. Research and discoveries on the field of affective bonding was one of his leading activities.

Before his death, Stern was an honorary professor in Psychology at the University of Geneva, adjunct professor in the department of Psychiatry at the Cornell University Medical School and a lecturer at the Columbia University Centre for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.

He received Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Copenhagen (2002), Dk; Palermo, It; Mons Hainaut, Be; Alborg, Dk; Padua, It, and Stockholm University.

He died, aged 78, in Geneva, Switzerland, following a heart failure. He actively contributed to the ongoing work of the Boston Process of Change Study Group only a few months prior.

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