Raymond Cattell

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Raymond Bernard Cattell (20 March, 1905 - 2 February, 1998) was a British and American psychologist who theorized the existence of fluid and crystallized intelligences to explain human cognitive ability. He was famously productive throughout his 92 years, and ultimately was able to claim a combined authorship and co-authorship of 55 books and some 500 journal articles in addition to at least 30 standardized tests.

In keeping with his devotion to rigorous scientific method, Cattell was an early proponent of the application in psychology of factor analytical methods, in place of what he called mere "verbal theorizing." One of the most important results of Cattell's application of factor analysis was the derivation of 16 factors underlying human personality. He called these 16 factors source traits because he believed that they provide the underlying source for the surface behaviors that we think of as personality. ("Psychology and Life, 7 ed." by Richard Gerrig and Philip Zimbardo.) This theory of 16 personality factors and the instruments used to measure them are known collectively as the 16 Personality Factors.


[edit] List of Cattell's innovations and accomplishments

  • Definition of the three domains of the personality sphere (the totality of factorial measurements of the personality, ability, and motivation)
  • Fluid and crystallized intelligence
  • State and trait measurement of personality
  • The Scree Test (using the curve of latent roots to judge the number of factors)
  • The Procrustes factor analysis rotation program (for testing a hypothesized factor structure)
  • The coefficient of profile similarity (taking account of shape, scatter, and level of two score profiles)
  • The Dynamic Calculus (for assessing interests and motivation)
  • P-technique factor analysis (for an occasion-by-variable matrix)
  • The Taxonome program (for ascertaining the number and contents of clusters in a data set)
  • The Basic Data Relations Box (the dimensions of experimental designs)
  • Sampling of variables, as opposed to or in conjunction with sampling of persons
  • Group syntality construct (the "personality" of a group)
  • The factoring or repeated measures on single individuals to study fluctuating personality states
  • Multiple Abstract Variance Analysis (with "specification equations" embodying genetic and environmental variables and their interactions)
  • The founding of the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology and the journal Multivariate Behavioral Research
  • Developed the CFIT or Culture Fair Intelligence Test

[edit] Political criticism and the APA Lifetime Achievement Award

Cattell has been criticized on the basis of his interests in eugenics, evolution and alternative cultures and political systems. Political critics also note that Cattell is known for laying out a mixture of Galtonian eugenics and theology called Beyondism, which he considered "a new morality from science," and that his work in this area was published numerous times in the Pioneer Fund's Mankind Quarterly and its editor, Roger Pearson, has published two of Cattell's monographs. Cattell was also a Pioneer Fund recipient. [1]

In 1994 he was one of 52 signatories on "Mainstream Science on Intelligence," an editorial written by Linda Gottfredson and published in the Wall Street Journal, which defended the findings on race and intelligence in The Bell Curve.

In 1997, Cattell, at 92, was chosen by the American Psychological Association (APA) for its "Gold Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Science of Psychology." However before the medal was presented, a former student at the University of Illinois, Barry Mehler, launched a publicity campaign against Cattell [2] through his nonprofit foundation ISAR accusing Cattell of being sympathetic to racist and fascist ideas [3] and claiming that "it is unconscionable to honor this man whose work helps to dignify the most destructive political ideas of the twentieth century". [4] A blue-ribbon committee was convened by the APA to investigate the legitimacy of the charges. However, before the committee reached a decision Cattell issued an open letter to the committee saying "I abhor racism and discrimination based on race. Any other belief would be antithetical to my life’s work" and saying that "it is unfortunate that the APA announcement … has brought misguided critics' statements a great deal of publicity." [5] He refused the award, withdrawing his name from consideration. The blue ribbon committee was therefore disbanded and Cattell, in failing health, died months later.

[edit] Notes

  1.   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. Cattell was also criticized by Rutgers professor William H. "Bill" Tucker, a friend and associate of Mehler's to whom Mehler "generously opened both his files and his home". In Tucker's book published with University of Illinois Press [6], Tucker claims that Cattell (in 1937) praised the eugenics laws of the pre-war Third Reich for promoting racial improvement.

[edit] Selected publications

  • Cattell, R.B., (1933). Psychology and social progress: Mankind and destiny from the standpoint of a scientist. London: C. W. Daniel.
  • Cattell, R. B. (1937). The fight for our national intelligence. London: P. S. King.
  • Cattell, R. B. (1965). The scientific analysis of personality. Harmondsworth (England): Penguin Books.
  • Cattell, R. B. (1972). A new morality from science: Beyondism. New York: Pergamon Press.
  • Cattell, R. B. (1987). Beyondism: Religion from science. New York: Praeger.

[edit] Political publications mentioning Cattell

  • Tucker, W. H. (1994). "The science and politics of racial research". Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.
  • MacDonald, Marvin J. "Psychology, Eugenics and the Case of Raymond B. Cattell". History and Philosophy of Psychology Bulletin (Volume 10 number 2, 1998) A special issue of the journal reviewed the Cattell controversy.

[edit] Comprehensive list of Cattell's books

For more details on this topic, see Raymond Cattell (Books).

[edit] Comprehensive list of Cattell's journal articles

For more details on this topic, see Raymond Cattell (Articles).

[edit] External links

et:Raymond Bernard Cattell nl:Raymond B. Cattell ja:レイモンド・キャッテル ru:Кеттел, Рэймонд fi:Raymond Cattell

Raymond Cattell

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