Portraits of Pioneers in Psychology - Vol. 3

By Gregory A. Kimble; Michael C. Wertheimer | Go to book overview
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I visited for several days in early August 1955. Thurstone and I discussed progress on several joint research projects. Swimming was also on the agenda, and the Thurstone boys tried their best (without success) to teach me to water ski. I was puzzled during that visit by the tone of some of Thurstone's conversation. For example, he commented about the role of Principal Investigator on research funds, noting that I should jealously guard the authority for expending money, especially against department chairs and deans. He wondered aloud if he had chosen correctly at UNC to affiliate with the Psychology Department rather than with the Institute of Statistics. Only later did I recognize that, from his perspective, this may have resembled a deathbed discussion. I wrote Thurstone letters on August 22 and August 29, 1955, but received no reply. When I learned that he died on September 19, I was stunned and saddened.

Thelma Gwinn Thurstone, when asked by the University administration at UNC to succeed L. L. Thurstone as Director of the Psychometric Laboratory, agreed to be Acting Director for a short term, to fulfill commitments under terms of unexpired research grants and contracts; she firmly declined to continue for a longer term. Thus, one other surprise awaited me in 1957, when I was asked to join the faculty and become Director of the Psychometric Laboratory at UNC. I have never regretted doing so, in large part because it provided the opportunity to maintain a program of education and research that was so firmly and competently established by L. L. Thurstone.


Adkins D. Wood ( 1962), Louis Leon Thurstone. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.

Guilford J. P. ( 1957). "Louis Leon Thurstone, 1987-1955". National Academy of Sciences Biographical Memoirs, 30, 349-382.

Gulliksen H. ( 1956). "A tribute to L. L. Thurstone". Psychometrika, 21, 309-312.

Jones L. V. ( 1949). "A factor analysis of the Stanford-Binet at four age levels". Psychometrika, 14, 299-331.

Jones L. V. ( 1950). Analysis of visual discrimination learning by pigeons. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Stanford University.

Jones L. V. ( 1954). "Primary abilities in the Stanford-Binet, age 13". Journal of Genetic Psychology, 84, 125-147.

Jones L. V. ( 1959). "Prediction of consumer purchase and the utility of money". Journal of Applied Psychology, 43, 334-337.

Jones L. V., & Thurstone L. L. ( 1955). "The psychophysics of semantics: An experimental investigation". Journal of Applied Psychology, 39, 31-36.

Thunström L. L. ( 1905). "How to save Niagara". Scientific American, 93, 27.

Thurstone L. L. ( 1919). "The learning curve equation". Psychological Monographs, 26 (no. 114).

Thurstone L. L. ( 1925). "A method of scaling psychological and educational tests". Journal of Educational Psychology, 16, 433-451.

Thurstone L. L. ( 1928). "Attitudes can be measured". American Journal of Sociology, 33, 529-554.

Thurstone L. L. ( 1931). "Multiple factor analysis". Psychological Review, 38, 406-427.


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