Cattell, Raymond Bernard (1905-) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Cattell, Raymond Bernard (1905-)

Historical Note:


Raymond Bernard Cattell (1905-1998) was a research professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1945 to 1977. He was a British-American psychologist known for his research of intrapersonal psychological behaviors and for developing empirical psychological methods used to create behavioral and ability tests. His research focused on personality and temperament, motivation and emotion, abnormal personalities and social behaviors, predictive measures of creativity and achievement, and analytic tools to measure these domains.

Raymond Cattell was born on March 20, 1905 in Hilltop, West Bromwich, United Kingdom. In 1921, Cattell was awarded a scholarship to study chemistry at King's College London, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at age 19. He received a PhD in psychology at King's College in 1929. While finishing his PhD, he began working as a professor at Exeter University in the Department of Education. In 1937, he took a job at Columbia University. One year later, he took the G. Stanley Hall professorship in psychology position at Clark University. In 1941, he joined the faculty at Harvard University.

In 1945, Cattell agreed to come to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, partially because he wanted to gain access to the first electronic computer built by a US university, the Illiac I, in order to conduct large scale factor analysis experiments. In the same year he was appointed president of the American Psychological Association (APA. While at the University of Illinois, Cattell founded the Laboratory of Personality Assessment and Group Behavior. In 1949, he and his wife Alberta Karen Cattell founded the Institute for Personality and Ability Testing (IPAT). In 1977, Cattell moved to Hawaii and became a part time professor at the University of Hawaii. In 1997 his nomination for the Gold Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement by the APA triggered criticism of eugenics and evolution-based tendencies in his research and writings and Cattell withdrew his name.

Cattell died on February 2, 1998 at the age of 92 at his home in Honolulu.


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