Achieved Eminence in 80 Female Psychologists: Family, Marriage, Children, Education, Career, and Contributions
Dean Keith Simonton
University of California, Davis
Although a large body of empirical research has shed considerable light on the attainment of eminence in psychology, this literature has focused almost exclusively on samples of eminent males. Yet there is sufficient reason to expect that eminent female psychologists do not necessarily follow the same life and career pathways as do eminent male psychologists. To help remedy this deficiency, the current historiometric study concentrates on a sample of 80 eminent female psychologists born between 1847 and 1950. After obtaining three reliable eminence measures, variables were defined with respect to family background (parental occupations and sibling configurations), marriage and children (including divorce), education and career development (especially the attainment of higher degrees and full professorships), and professional contributions (to 20 different specialty areas). Even after controlling for potential artifacts due to year of birth and reference source, statistically and substantively significant correlations were found in all four sets of variables. Even though the pattern of findings sometimes closely paralleled what was found for eminent male psychologists, other times the results strongly diverged. Because these divergences most likely reflected traditional gender roles and gender-biased policies, female and male routes to eminence should progressively converge over time, if they have not done so already. Finally, some findings based on this all-female sample deserve empirical examination in comparable male samples.
Simonton, D. K. (2018). Achieved eminence in 80 female psychologists: Family, marriage, children, education, career, and contributions. Journal of Genius and Eminence, 3(1), 1-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.18536/jge.2018.04.3.1.01