The Anatomy of Impact brings together experts in the philosophy, theory, and history of psychology to analyze works of monumental impact and examine what separates some of the most influential psychological works from those that are less successful. Evaluating the careers of eminent scholars and practitioners like Freud, Lewin, James, and Binet, this volume identifies and describes particularly important works, pinpoints specific attributes that led to great impact, and offers practical advice to students and professionals striving to achieve substantial impact in their own work.

Table of Contents



  1. Francis Galton's Hereditary Genius: Its Place in the History and Psychology of Science
    —Dean Keith Simonton
  2. A Profound and Radical Change: How William James Inspired the Reshaping of American Psychology
    —David Leary
  3. Franz Brentano's Psychology From an Empirical Standpoint
    —Donald E. Polkinghorne
  4. The Impact of Sigmund Freud and The Interpretation of Dreams
    —Stanley B. Messer and Nancy McWilliams
  5. Alfred Binet's Contributions as a Paradigm for Impact in Psychology
    —Robert J. Sternberg and Linda Jarvin
  6. Lessons in "Greatness" from Kurt Lewin's Life and Works
    —Ellen Berscheid
  7. The Dramaturgical Approach to Social Psychology: The Influence of Erving Goffman
    —Theodore R. Sarbin
  8. A Science of Persons: Exploring the Impact of R. D. Laing's The Divided Self on Psychology
    —Frederick J. Wertz and Michael Alcee
  9. Content and Context: The Impact of Campbell and Stanley
    —William R. Shadish, Glenn Phillips, and M. H. Clark
  10. Understanding Disciplinary Significance: Allen Bergin's 1980 Article on Values
    —Brent D. Slife and Matthew Whoolery
  11. Impact as Substance and as Fashion
    —Daniel N. Robinson
  12. Impact in Psychology: Final Reflections
    —Frank C. Richardson

Afterword: How Much Impact Should Impact Have?

Author Index

Subject Index

About the Editor

Editor Bio

Robert J. Sternberg is most well-known for his theory of successful intelligence, investment theory of creativity (developed with Todd Lubart), theory of mental self-government, balance theory of wisdom, and triangular theory of love and theory of love as a story. The focus of his research is intelligence and cognitive development.

Dr. Sternberg is the author of over 800 journal articles, book chapters, and books, and has received about $15 million in government grants and contracts for his research. He is 2003 President of the American Psychological Association (APA) and editor of Contemporary Psychology.

He received his PhD from Stanford University in 1975 and his BA summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Yale University in 1972. He has won many awards, including the Early Career Award from APA, Outstanding Book Awards from the American Educational Research Association, the Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Psychology Award from the Connecticut Psychological Association, the Cattell Award of the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology, and the Award for Excellence of the Mensa Education and Research Foundation.

He has held a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as Yale University Senior and Junior Faculty Fellowships. He has been president of the Divisions of General Psychology, Educational Psychology, Psychology and the Arts, and Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology of the APA and has served as editor of Psychological Bulletin.