On This Day … 26 March

People (Births)

  • 1905 – Viktor Frankl, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist (d. 1997).

People (Deaths)

  • 2014 – Roger Birkman, American psychologist and author (b. 1919).
  • 2015 – Tomas Tranströmer, Swedish poet, translator, and psychologist Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1931).

Viktor Frankl

Viktor Emil Frankl (26 March 1905 to 02 September 1997) was an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, philosopher, author, and Holocaust survivor.

He was the founder of logotherapy, a school of psychotherapy which describes a search for a life meaning as the central human motivational force. Logotherapy is part of existential and humanistic psychology theories.

Frankl published 39 books. The autobiographical Man’s Search for Meaning, a best-selling book, is based on his experiences in various Nazi concentration camps.

Roger Birkman

Roger Winfred Birkman (01 February 1919 to 26 March 2014) was an American organisational psychologist. He was the creator of The Birkman Method, a workplace psychological assessment. Birkman received his Ph.D. in psychology in 1961 from the University of Texas at Austin. He was the founder and chairman of the board of Birkman International, Inc.

The Birkman Method

The Birkman Method is an online personality, social perception, and occupational interest assessment consisting of ten scales describing occupational preferences (Interests), 11 scales describing “effective behaviours” (Usual behaviours) and 11 scales describing interpersonal and environmental expectations (Needs or Expectations). A corresponding set of 11 scale values was derived to describe “less than effective” behaviours (Stress behaviours). Occupational profiling consists of 22 job families with more than 200 corresponding job titles all connected to O*Net.

The construction and comparative analysis of the Birkman Method is designed to provide insight into what specifically drives a person’s behaviour, with the goal of creating greater choice and more self-responsibility. It attempts to measure social behaviours, underlying expectations of interpersonal and task actions, potential stress reactions to unmet expectations, occupational preferences and organisational strengths. It is empirically supported by reliability and validity studies, including studies using classical test theory (CTT) and item response theory (IRT). The Birkman Method has 3 different types of assessments available.

Tomas Tranströmer

Tomas Gösta Tranströmer 15 April 1931 to 26 March 2015) was a Swedish poet, psychologist and translator. His poems captured the long Swedish winters, the rhythm of the seasons and the palpable, atmospheric beauty of nature. Tranströmer’s work is also characterised by a sense of mystery and wonder underlying the routine of everyday life, a quality which often gives his poems a religious dimension. He has been described as a Christian poet.

Tranströmer is acclaimed as one of the most important Scandinavian writers since the Second World War. Critics praised his poetry for its accessibility, even in translation. His poetry has been translated into over 60 languages. He was the recipient of the 1990 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature.