Key Thinkers in Individual Differences : Ideas on Personality and Intelligence book cover
1st Edition

Key Thinkers in Individual Differences
Ideas on Personality and Intelligence

ISBN 9781138494213
Published June 10, 2019 by Routledge
216 Pages

USD $24.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Key Thinkers in Individual Differences introduces the life, work and thought of 25 of the most influential figures who have shaped and developed the measurement of intelligence and personality. Expanding on from a résumé of academic events, this book makes sense of these psychologists by bringing together not only their ideas but the social experiences, loves and losses that moulded them.

By adapting a chronological approach, Forsythe presents the history and context behind these thinkers, ranging from the buffoonery and sheer genius of Charles Galton, the theatre of Hans Eysenck and John Phillipe Rushton, to the much-maligned and overlooked work of women such as Isabel Myers, Katherine Briggs and Karen Horney. Exploring all through a phenomenological lens, the background, interconnections, controversies and conversations of these thinkers are uncovered.

This informative guide is essential reading to anyone who studies, works in or is simply captivated by the field of individual differences, personality and intelligence. An invaluable resource for all students of individual differences and the history of psychology.

Table of Contents




  1. Francis Galton (1822-1911)
  2. Hereditary Genius’

  3. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
  4. "I can most highly recommend the Gestapo to everyone"

  5. Alfred Binet (1857-1911)
  6. ‘The constructionist’

  7. Charles Edward Spearman (1863-1945)
  8. ‘The intelligence factor’

  9. Goddard, Henry Herbert (1866-1957)
  10. "As luck would have it"

  11. Alfred Alder (1870-1937)
  12. ‘The individualist’

  13. Jung, Carl Gustav (1875-1961)
  14. We cannot change anything unless we accept it’

  15. Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922)
  16. ‘Faces staring back at us’

  17. Karen Horney (1885-1952)
  18. ‘Upending Freud’

  19. Henry Alexander Murray (1893-1988)
  20. ‘Revealing the personal narrative’

  21. David Wechsler (1896-1981)
  22. ‘Factorial analysis alone is not the answer’

  23. Katherine Cook-Briggs & Isabel Myers-Briggs
  24. ‘The indicator’ Myers-Briggs (1897-1980)

    Cook-Briggs (1875-1968)

  25. John Carlyle Raven June (1902-1970)
  26. ‘Elegant design’

  27. Hathaway, Starke Rosecrans (1903–1984)
  28. ‘The Minnesota Normals’

  29. Raymond Bernard Cattell (1905-1998)
  30. Psychology: "describing things which everyone knows in language which no one understands"

  31. George Alexander Kelly (1905-1967)
  32. A multi-dimensional man

  33. Hans Jurgen Eysenck (1916-1997)
  34. The truth as he sees it

  35. Arthur Jensen (1923-2012)
  36. A King among Men

  37. Walter Mischel (1930-2018)
  38. Oh, what a lovely war

  39. Lewis Robert Goldberg (1932-)
  40. The Big-5, OCEAN and the language of personality

  41. Howard Gardner (1943–)
  42. "One of a kind"

  43. John Philippe Rushton (1943-2012)
  44. The incendiary device

  45. Peter Francis Saville (1946-)
  46. ‘Global Gold Standard’

  47. Daniel Goleman (1946)

         Emotionally intelligent



View More



Alex Forsythe is Head of Certification for the Association for Business Psychology, Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool and Head of Psychology at the University of Wolverhampton. Among her various accomplishments, she is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist, BPS Specialist in test use, and in 2018 was awarded both Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and the prestigious National Teaching Fellowship. With extensive organisational experience working at senior levels in the private, public and voluntary sectors, Alex’s specialisms include improving work performance through goal setting and by helping individuals develop healthy self-regulatory behaviours and relationships with feedback.


"This book lifts the curtain to explore the backgrounds and personal lives of some influential psychologists in the fields of personality, intelligence and their measurement. This brief book helps us understand how and why their backgrounds and private lives may have influenced their theories--and the controversies which frequently erupted.  The book is engagingly written with a wry, light touch, such as describing Eysenck’s 'physics envy'. It provides fascinating background to some influential theories and will appeal to both specialists and non-specialists." - Colin Cooper, School of Psychology, Queen’s University, Belfast.