Psychologists Defying the Crowd: Stories of Those Who Battled the Establishment and Won

Pages: 293
Item #: 431681A
ISBN: 978-1-55798-919-2
List Price: $34.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $29.95
Copyright: 2003
Format: Softcover
Note: This book is out of print and no longer available for purchase.

Creative scientists often defy the scientific establishment. Such scientists may choose to go their own way with respect to theory, research paradigm, philosophical orientation, or subject matter studied. The risks can be great, and such defiance can result in rejected articles, unfunded grant proposals, and in extreme cases, scientific oblivion. Yet these defiant scientists are often the ones whose works lives on, while the work of those scientists who conform to existing scientific tastes often die with them.

Of course, many conforming psychologists have done great and significant work. But the question is can a scientist not conform and still win?

Psychologists Defying the Crowd provides honest and often humorous personal histories from eminent psychologists who chose the path of the nonconformist. They share the strategies that helped them manage opposing forces as well as insights on shaping a successful and fulfilling career. This book is filled with advice and wisdom for those who are charting a course in the field of psychology.

Book Review

The accessible essays in this collection are as different as their authors—all psychologists who defied mainstream thought and produced new paradigms of psychological theory. Sternberg provides fascinating first-person accounts of vocational development from psychologists with diverse interests—Elizabeth Loftus, Howard Gardner, Robert Perloff, to name just a few. Each author responds to the question of how he or she came to a decision point, defied the norm, and persevered. Most pursued their particular interests for many years, some encountering resistance at every turn, others challenged in sudden dramatic ways. All of them redefined their specialties by researching new concepts and not retreating in the face of initial failure, lack of funding, peer criticism, and personal attacks from the public at large…Far too few books give voice to the many dedicated scientists who advance their fields…Summing up: Highly Recommended.
—Choice Magazine

Table of Contents



  1. Drifting My Own Way: Following My Nose and My Heart
    —Elliot Aronson
  2. On Stepping on Land Mines
    —Ellen Bersheid
  3. Diet, Obesity, Public Policy, and Defiance
    —Kelly D. Brownell
  4. Psychology Is Not an Enclave
    —John Garcia
  5. My Way
    —Howard Gardner
  6. An Unwilling Rebel
    —Jerome Kagan
  7. The Dangers of Memory
    —Elizabeth F. Loftus
  8. Doing Psychology My Way
    —William J. McGuire
  9. Challenging the Traditional Personality Psychology Paradigm
    —Walter Mischel
  10. Adventures in Cognition: From Cognitive Psychology to The Rising Curve
    —Ulric Neisser
  11. Moving Forward by Sticking Your Neck Out
    —Robert Perloff
  12. Fighting the Fads and Traveling in the Troughs: The Value (as Opposed to Growth) Approach to Inquiry
    —Paul Rozin
  13. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Formulation: How I Came to Frame Mental Laws in Abstract Spaces
    —Roger N. Shepard
  14. It's Absolutely Impossible? A Longitudinal Study of One Psychologist's Response to Conventional Naysayers
    —Dean Keith Simonton
  15. It All Started With Those Darn IQ Tests: Half a Career Spent Defying the Crowd
    —Robert J. Sternberg
  16. What Would Draw a Basic Scientist Into Head Start (and Why Would He Never Leave)?
    —Edward Zigler


About the Editor