Raymond Cattell : biography
Raymond Bernard Cattell (20 March 1905 – 2 February 1998) was a British and American psychologist, known for his exploration of many areas in psychology. These areas included: the basic dimensions of personality and temperament, a range of cognitive abilities, the dynamic dimensions of motivation and emotion, the clinical dimensions of personality, patterns of group and social behavior, applications of personality research to psychotherapy and learning theory, predictors of creativity and achievement, and many scientific research methods for exploring and measuring these areas. Cattell was famously productive throughout his 92 years, authoring and co-authoring over 50 books and 500 articles, and over 30 standardized tests. According to a widely cited ranking, he was the 16th most influential and eminent psychologist of the 20th century.S. J. Haggbloom et al. (2002), "The 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century", Review of General Psychology, 6(2), 139-152. This empirical study used six criteria including citations, surveys, and awards to rank the eminence of psychologists.
As a psychologist, Cattell was rigorously devoted to the scientific method. He was an early proponent of using factor analytical methods instead of what he called "verbal theorizing" to explore the basic dimensions of personality, motivation, and cognitive abilities. One of the most important results of Cattell's application of factor analysis was his discovery of 16 factors underlying human personality. He called these factors "source traits" because he believed they provide the underlying source for the surface behaviors we think of as personality.Richard Gerrig and Philip Zimbardo, Psychology and Life, 7th ed. This theory of personality factors and the instrument used to measure them are known respectively as the 16 personality factor model and the 16PF Questionnaire.
Although Cattell is best known for identifying the dimensions of personality, he also studied basic dimensions of other domains: intelligence, motivation, and vocational interests. Cattell theorized the existence of fluid and crystallized intelligences to explain human cognitive ability, and authored the Culture Fair Intelligence Test to minimize the bias of written language and cultural background in intelligence testing.
Criticism and the APA Lifetime Achievement Award
William H. TuckerTucker, W. H. (1994). The Science and Politics of Racial Research. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.Tucker, W. H. (2009). The Cattell Controversy: Race, Science, and Ideology. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. and Barry Mehler,Mehler reports that he was mentored by Jerry Hirsch, a colleague and strong critic of Cattell at the University of Illinois, where Cattell and Hirsch spent the majority of their careers. have taken issue with Cattell based on his interests in eugenics, evolution and political systems. They argue that throughout his life Cattell adhered to a mixture of eugenics and theology, which he eventually named Beyondism and proposed as "a new morality from science". Beyondism is based on the premise that groups, like individuals, evolve based on survival of the fittest. Cattell argues that a diversity of "racio-cultural" groups is necessary to allow that evolution. He makes controversial arguments to support natural group selection by encouraging not only the separation of groups but also the prevention of any "external" assistance to "failing" groups from "successful" ones, and by calling for a process of "genthanasia," in which the former would be "phased out" by the latter through "educational and birth control measures"—that is, by segregating them and preventing their reproduction.Cattell, R.B. (1972). A New Morality from Science: Beyondism. New York: Pergamon, p. 95, 221.http://www.lrainc.com/swtaboo/taboos/beyond01.html Cattell's former colleagues and other supporters assert that, although some of Cattell's views are controversial, Tucker and Mehler have exaggerated and misrepresented him by using quotes out of context and from outdated writings.
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