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Robert W. White (1904-2001) was an American psychologist whose professional interests centered on the the study of personality, both normal and abnormal. His book The Abnormal Psychology, published in 1948, became the standard textbook on Abnormal Psychology.[1]

A historian in perspective, White did not focus entirely on abnormal psychology, but investigated the coping methods of normal people. Diverging from Freud whose thinking dominated psychology at the time, he emphasized the individuals were also driven by needs to be competent and effective in the world.[2]

He began teaching at Harvard University in 1937 and retired from teaching in 1964.[3] During World War II, White became acting director of Harvard's psychological clinic. He was head of Harvard's clinical psychology program and chairman of the social relations department. In 1969 he was awarded professor emeritus.[2]

Selected publicationsEdit


  1. includeonly>"R.W. White, personality psychologist, dies at 96", March 01, 2001. Retrieved on 7 November 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 includeonly>Mccoubrey, Carmel. "R. W. White, 96; Put Focus on Personality", February 25, 2001. Retrieved on 7 November 2012.
  3. includeonly>"Perkins, White Give Their Last Lectures", December 30, 1968. Retrieved on 7 November 2012.
  4. White, Robert W. (1948). Origins of abnormal psychology, New York: Ronald Press Company.
  5. White, Robert W. (September 1959). Motivation reconsidered: The concept of competence. Psychological Review 66 (5): 297-333.
  6. (1948). Historical introduction: Origins of abnormal psychology.: 3–53.

External linksEdit

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