On This Day … 04 March

People (Births)

  • 1916 – Hans Eysenck, German-English psychologist and theorist (d. 1997).

People (Deaths)

  • 1925 – James Ward, English psychologist and philosopher (b. 1843).

Hans Eysenck

Hans Jürgen Eysenck (04 March 1916 to 04 September 1997) was a German-born British psychologist who spent his professional career in Great Britain. He is best remembered for his work on intelligence and personality, although he worked on other issues in psychology. At the time of his death, Eysenck was the living psychologist most frequently cited in the peer-reviewed scientific journal literature.

Eysenck’s research purported to show that certain personality types had an elevated risk of cancer and heart disease. Scholars have identified errors and suspected data manipulation in Eysenck’s work, and large replications have failed to confirm the relationships that he purported to find. An enquiry on behalf of King’s College London found the papers by Eysenck to be “incompatible with modern clinical science”.

In 2019, 26 of his papers (all co-authored with Ronald Grossarth-Maticek) were considered “unsafe” by an enquiry on behalf of King’s College London. Fourteen of his papers were retracted in 2020, and journals issued 64 statements of concern about publications by him. Rod Buchanan, a biographer of Eysenck, has argued that 87 publications by Eysenck should be retracted.

Eysenck believed intelligence was genetically determined and cited a US study that seemed to show that the IQ of black children fell, on average, 12 points below white children.

James Ward

James Ward FBA (27 January 1843 to 04 March 1925) was an English psychologist and philosopher. He was a Cambridge Apostle.

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