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Hans J. Eysenck centenary

To mark the 100th anniversary of the 'maverick' psychologist's birth, we delve into our archive and present an app special.

04 March 2016

Opening his article in the March 2016 edition (now open access), Philip Corr writes:

"Hans J. Eysenck (1916–1997) enjoyed an extraordinary life in British psychology, much of it played out in the limelight of public attention. His fame and influence extended beyond the shores of these isles, to encompass the globe. He inspired generations of psychologists, many of whom were enthralled by his popular books that made psychology seem so vital, relevant and even urgent. His was an open invitation: arise from the supine position on the analytical couch, leap out from the comfort of the philosophical armchair, and visit the psychology laboratory – one chapter in Fact and Fiction in Psychology (Eysenck, 1965a) is titled, 'Visit to a psychological laboratory'. His easy-to-understand causal theories of 'what makes people tick' (exposing the inner working of the human clock) were especially fascinating to an inquisitive public. He also courted controversy: his style of advocating change and some of the positions he took, especially on politically charged issues like race and IQ, attracted criticism of his work, and of him.

4 March 2016 would have been Hans Eysenck's 100th birthday. This offers a timely opportunity to reflect upon the growth of psychology over the last century and Eysenck's role in it, including an evaluation of the controversial aspects of his career. Perhaps more than any other British psychologist, his story is its story."

To mark the occasion and share this story, we have published a free special in our new free app. Why not read it there - you will also find five other new specials, plus all our latest editions. Please also share, rate and comment (we're listening - new font to come in the next few days!).

Alternatively, the articles are collected for you below.

- The centenary of a maverick

- Looking back: The controversial Hans Eysenck

- Playing with fire: The controversial career of Hans J. Eysenck (book review by his son Michael)

- Personality and psychology: Hans Eysenck's unifying themes

- Eysenck and the development of CBT

- Individual differences - the British context

- On the shoulders of giants

UPDATE: Since the 2016 collection, controversy around Eysenck continued and has been reflected in our pages. Readers got in touch about the 2016 coverage. In May 2017 we reviewed an Eysenck inspired musical project. In September 2019, Andrew Colman and others called for the Society to audit Eysenck's work; and the discussion continued in our October and November issues. 

There has been much excellent coverage in other publications of the continued calls to investigagte and retract Eysenck's publications, including this in Science.