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An Incomplete List of Eminent Psychologists in the Modern Era

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Diener, Ed (University of Illinois)
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
  • Abstract

    We systematically identified eminent psychologists, first using six sources to create an initial list of 348 eminent psychologists, and then using three criteria (citation metrics, textbook page coverage, and major awards) to select the most highly recognized psychologists. The rankings we produced corresponded highly with other indicators of eminence, and the top 200 are reported in the article. We also identified individuals who scored very high across all three indicators, as well as scientists who scored high when only two indicators were used. Individuals such as Daniel Kahneman and Albert Bandura ranked very high on the list of modern eminent psychologists. We found that the citation rate of the most eminent psychologists is growing at extremely high rates. A few high-prestige psychology departments heavily contributed to the doctoral education of a large number of the eminent psychologists. The most eminent researchers published an extremely large number of publications over many years; their renown rarely rested on one or two classics alone. High eminence was rarely achieved before age 50, and most of the eminent psychologists worked until late in their lives. Women are slowly gaining in eminence, but still lag substantially behind compared to their growing presence in scientific psychology. The numbers for ethnic minorities are disturbingly low, and are a major concern for the field. Highly eminent psychologists come from many areas of psychology, not just from a few elite areas.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • 1945 / 2013
    Time period: 1945--2013
  • 2012-11 / 2013-08
    Collection date: 2012-11--2013-08
Sampled Universe
academic psychologists
We relied on six sources to initially identify eminent psychologists. From this list of 348 individuals we used citation metrics, major awards, and coverage in introductory textbooks to rank the group in terms of eminence.
Collection Mode
  • Data for this collection (in SPSS format) are contained in a zipped package.

One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the study documentation to learn more on how to obtain the data.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 35059 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR35059.v1

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-16

Diener, Ed (2014): An Incomplete List of Eminent Psychologists in the Modern Era. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.