Academic journal article Mankind Quarterly

Hans Eysenck: A Contradictory Psychology

Academic journal article Mankind Quarterly

Hans Eysenck: A Contradictory Psychology

Article excerpt

Hans Eysenck: A Contradictory Psychology Philip Corr Basingstoke: Palgrave 2016

Hans Eysenck (1916-1997) was the most famous British psychologist of the second half of the twentieth century. He was also one of the most controversial, and Philip Corr has written a well-balanced assessment of his work. On the positive side, Eysenck built a strong teaching and research department at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, where he introduced behavior therapy and pioneered the study of the dimensions of personality and their biological basis. Among his important contributions were his criticism of psychoanalysis and demonstration of the ineffectiveness of psychoanalytic therapy, and his studies of the structure and heritability of personality and political attitudes. His major work on the structure of personality posited the three major dimensions of neuroticism, introversion-extraversion and psychoticism and was the basis of the contemporary consensus of the Big Five. He endorsed some controversial positions, including Ronald Fisher's thesis that innate differences in intelligence are largely responsible for social class stratification, Jensen's thesis of the probable partly genetic basis of the lower average IQ of blacks than of whites, and Lynn's thesis of the lower average IQ of women than of men which he proposed could contribute to the explanation of the greater numbers of men among geniuses. …

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