~ contributed by Jodi Kearns & Abigail Williamson; Abby is a University of Akron history major who worked with the Wispé collection for her Museums & Archives Studies certificate Capstone Experience.
In the early 1950s, Lauren G. Wispé set out to study social and psychological factors associated with eminence in the field of psychology by analyzing selected psychologists’ responses to a 12-page questionnaire asking about family, early education, and socioeconomic backgrounds. If you want to read Wispé’s results, have a look at Traits of Eminent American Psychologists published in Science in 1963.
The Cummings Center has a small collection of the returned questionnaires, which have some coding marks from the data analysis, and no additional research materials.
Some of the questions ask about parents’ ages at the psychologist’s birth, parents’ professions, and family members’ achieved levels of education. Questions cover work experience, mentors and influences, promising students, and prominent…