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Hans J. Eysenck


Hans J. Eysenck, 81, a popular, pioneering and controversial German-born British behavioral psychologist best known as a champion of the
statistical analysis method and his opposition to the discipline of psychoanalysis, died Sept. 4 at a hospice in London. He had cancer. 




Life history

Since the 1950s, Dr. Eysenck had vocally propounded the view that the
experimental methods used in the physical sciences, particularly
statistical tests, should be applied in psychology, psychotherapy and	
especially psychoanalysis. 

Dr. Eysenck, who spent decades as head of the Psychology Department of the
University of London's Institute of Psychiatry, was a pioneer in the
development of "behavior therapy." That is a method of treating patients
by addressing their immediate problems, a process he said could be done in
a limited number of sessions rather than the seemingly unending, indirect
method of psychoanalysis. 

He also developed radical and immensely controversial theories on subjects
ranging from tobacco and cancer to crime and the occult to IQ testing and
genetics. He spread his views in more than 75 books and a thousand
technical articles. 

His writing gained him a worldwide audience of general readers as well as
scientists. He once explained that his books ranged from "Uses and Abuses
of Psychology," which he wrote in two weeks and which sold millions of
copies, to the scholarly, scientific and academic "Reminiscence,
Motivation, and Personality: A Case Study in Experimental Psychology,"
which he said took him 15 years of research and writing and sold "several
hundred" copies. 

In the words of a true scholar, he announced that he had deduced a "strong
negative correlation between sales and the time taken to write a book." 

His more popular books included works published by Penguin Books, such as
"Sense and Nonsense in Psychology" and "Check Your Own IQ." 

In 1971, he published "The IQ Argument: Race, Intelligence and Education,"
in which he suggested that it was possible that genetics might explain
differences in IQ scores between blacks and whites. This resulted in his
becoming a target of student protesters in Great Britain and the United

Although many scientists attacked this finding on scientific or
philosophical grounds, few accused Dr. Eysenck, who had left his native
Germany rather than join the Nazi Party, of any kind of racism. 

Other controversial works included his 1965 book "Smoking, Health and
Personality," which propounded that smoking does not cause cancer but is a
symptom, along with cancer, of mysterious hereditary and emotional

In addition to his books and articles, he edited the standard "Handbook of
Abnormal Psychology" and the three-volume "Readings in Extroversion and
Introversion." He also contributed articles to the "Encyclopedia of the
Social Sciences." In 1962, he founded and began a long stint as editor of
the journal Behavior Research and Therapy. 

His 1952 book "The Structure of Human Personality," in which he posited
that human personality can be defined in terms of intelligence,
neuroticism, introversion-extroversion and psychoticism, led to the
development of the Maudsley Personality Inventory. Also known as the
Eysenck Personality Inventory, the psychological battery became widely
used in Britain. 

Hans Jurgen Eysenck was born in Berlin. Both his parents acted, and the
future psychologist himself appeared in a film at age 3. Refusing to join
the Nazi Party to attend college, he went to France and studied French
literature and history at the University of Dijon and then to England,
where he studied British history and literature at Exeter University. 

He then decided he wanted to become a physicist, so he enrolled in the
University of London. While registering, he was informed that German
science credits were not acceptable for London but that he would be
admitted to study psychology.  Although, he later claimed, he did not even
know what psychology was, he heartily accepted. 

Dr. Eysenck fell in love with the subject and was fortunate in being able
to study under Sir Cyril Burt, the noted psychologist who was an early
advocate of statistical studies, and the legendary statistician Karl
Pearson. Dr. Eysenck graduated in 1938 and received his doctorate, also
from the University of London, in 1940. 

During World War II, he was a research psychologist at an emergency
hospital near London that treated mentally disturbed service personnel.
After the war, he joined the staff of London's famed Maudsley Hospital,
perhaps Britain's leading psychiatric training ground. In 1947, he became
head of the hospital's psychology department, and the next year, he joined
the faculty of the University of London. In 1950, he became head of the
university's new psychiatry institute, located at Maudsley Hospital. 

In addition to his work in Britain, he served as a visiting professor at
the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California-Berkeley. 

Early in his career, he became known for his interests in behavior
modification and personality and for his lack of enthusiasm for Freudian
psychoanalysis. In the early 1950s, he began attacking psychoanalysis in
the profession's own journals, maintaining that there was no statistical
evidence to prove that the treatment actually worked. 

His marriage to the former Margaret Malcolm Davies ended in divorce. 

Survivors include his wife, the former Sybille Bianca Giulietta Rostal,
whom he married in 1950 and who lives in London; a daughter from his
second marriage, Connie Eysenck of Bethesda; a son from his first
marriage; three sons from his second marriage; and eight grandchildren


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