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Cattell, James McKeen (25 May 1860–20 January 1944), psychologist and editor, was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, the son of William C. Cattell, a Presbyterian minister and president of Lafayette College in Easton, and Elizabeth McKeen, the daughter of James McKeen, the college’s most generous benefactor. Cattell grew up as the scion of Easton’s leading family, and even as a student at Lafayette (A.B., 1880) he came to expect the deference of others. His family’s closeness led him to study the ethics of Comtean positivism, which idealized the mother’s sacrifice in childbirth as the model of all altruistic behavior. At Lafayette, the teaching of philologist Francis Andrew March—especially March’s emphasis on the philosophy of Francis Bacon—impressed him. Cattell developed an approach to science that combined a Comtean emphasis on quantification with a Baconian appreciation for the hypothesis-free collection of empirical “facts” and the usefulness of science. Throughout his career he adopted methods that produced quantitative data about psychological phenomena, even if he often could not explain them....


James McKeen Cattell [left to right] Herbert E. Ives and James McKeen Cattell, 1934. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-114340).


Shinn, Milicent Washburn (15 April 1858–13 August 1940), writer, editor, and psychologist, was born in Niles, California, the daughter of James Shinn and Lucy Ellen Clark, who operated a farm and tree nursery. Following high school graduation in 1874 she enrolled at the University of California and, after taking a leave of absence to acquire necessary funds by public school teaching, received her A.B. in 1880....


Whipple, Guy Montrose (12 June 1876–01 August 1941), educational psychologist and editor, was born in Danvers, Massachusetts, the son of John Francis Whipple, a wounded Civil War veteran working as mail carrier, and Cornelia Eliza Hood, a schoolteacher who took up painting in her old age. He received an A.B. from Brown University in 1897, spent a year as assistant in psychology at Clark University, and in 1898 moved to a similar position at Cornell University. In 1901 he married Clarice Johnson Rogers; they had three sons. In 1925 he married Helen Davis, they had one son....