Elizabeth Duffy has been rather obscure in the literature of psychology. One of her few referenced works which still remains available is Activation and Behavior:

If the future of unifying psychology relies upon an integration with physics, biology, and the other "hard" sciences, then Elizabeth Duffy must be acknowledged as a pioneer in this movement (from Activation and Behavior, pg. ix):

"(My purpose) ... is to present psychological phenomena in terms which will harmonize with those of the other sciences, and to show the relationship of psychology to the foundation sciences upon which it rests."

Most notably, Duffy created ties to physics by focusing on life and psychology in terms of energy systems, an idea which presaged more recent work by Gregg Henriques and others. One of her classic insights follows (from Activation and Behavior, pg. viii):

"The organism is conceived of as characteristically an energy system, storing energy and releasing it in activity of one form or another."

If energy is truly the common denominator of our universe and all sciences, then Duffy's lead should be the doorway for all of us.



  • Duffy, Elizabeth.(1962). Activation and Behavior. NEW YORK: John Wiley & Sons, LCCCN 62-15174

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