An incomplete list of eminent psychologists of the modern era


Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Park, J. (2014). An incomplete list of eminent psychologists of the modern era. Archives of Scientific Psychology, 2(1), 20.


We systematically identified eminent psychologists, first using 6 sources to create an initial list of 348 eminent psychologists, and then using 3 criteria (citation metrics, textbook page coverage, and major awards) to select the most highly recognized psychologists. The rankings we produced corresponded highly with other indicators of eminence, and the top 200 are reported in the article. We also identified individuals who scored very high across all 3 indicators, as well as scientists who scored high when only 2 indicators were used. Individuals such as Daniel Kahneman and Albert Bandura ranked very high on the list of modern eminent psychologists. We found that the citation rate of the most eminent psychologists is growing at extremely high rates. A few high-prestige psychology departments heavily contributed to the doctoral education of a large number of the eminent psychologists. The most eminent researchers published an extremely large number of publications over many years; their renown rarely rested on 1 or 2 classics alone. High eminence was rarely achieved before age 50, and most of the eminent psychologists worked until late in their lives. Women are slowly gaining in eminence, but still lag substantially behind compared with their growing presence in scientific psychology. The numbers for ethnic minorities are disturbingly low and are a major concern for the field. Highly eminent psychologists come from many areas of psychology, not just from a few elite areas.

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