Academic journal article The Behavior Analyst Today

In Memoriam: A Tribute to Philip J. Bersh

Academic journal article The Behavior Analyst Today

In Memoriam: A Tribute to Philip J. Bersh

Article excerpt

Philip J. Bersh, Ph.D., psychology professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, died of pulmonary complications in Philadelphia on April 2, 2004. He was 82 years old. Bersh began teaching at Temple, his alma matter, in 1967. His research on human heart rate conditioning is considered to be "classic" and appears in many psychology textbooks. He was teaching as a full-time faculty member just two weeks before his death and was also awarded a research grant shortly thereafter. He taught at Temple University for 35 years.

An Army veteran of World War II, Bersh landed on Utah Beach in Normandy, France, shortly after D-Day. He participated in the liberation of the Nordhausen concentration camp. Bersh received his doctorate in experimental psychology from Columbia University in 1949 as a student of Nate Schoenfeld. Their work assessed conditioned reinforcement. He subsequently held teaching appointments at Columbia University, the University of Wisconsin, Utica College, Hamilton College and George Washington University. Bersh also served as chief of the Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Branch at the Rome Air Development Center in Rome, N.Y., from 1954 to 1962 and as chief of the Combat Systems Division and deputy director for Human Performance Experimentation at the U. …

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