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Frederic Bartlett

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Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett (1886-1969) was a British psychologist and professor of experimental psychology at the University of Cambridge from 1931 until his retirement in 1951.

He originally graduated from London University with an MA in Sociology and Ethics , before going to St John's College, Cambridge where he graduated in Moral Science.

He was appointed Reader and Director of the Cambridge Psychological Laboratory in 1922. In 1931 he was appointed to the new Chair of Experimental Psychology.

With Kenneth Craik he was responsible for setting up the Medical Research Council's Applied Psychology Research Unit (APU) at Cambridge in 1944, becoming Director of the unit after Craik's early death in 1945. He was one of the forerunners of cognitive psychology.

However, while Bartlett considered his own work on cognitive psychology, especially remembering, to be a study in social psychology more recent developments have individualised his concepts.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1932 (a rare distinction for a psychologist), and knighted in 1948 for services to the Royal Air Force, on the basis of his wartime work in applied psychology.

The U.K. Ergonomics Society awards a Bartlett medal in his honour, and the Experimental Psychology Society holds an annual Bartlett Lecture.


(dates are not necessarily those of original publication)

  • Remembering (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1932)
  • Thinking (Basic Books, New York, 1958)
  • The problem of noise (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1934)
  • Exercises in logic (Clive, London, 1922)
  • The mind at work and play (Allen and Unwin, London, 1951)
  • Psychology and the soldier (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1927)
  • Political propaganda (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1940)
  • Psychology and primitive culture (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1923)
  • Religion as experience, belief, action (Cumberledge, London, 1950)

External links

Further reading

Ahlberg. S. W and Sharps, M. J. (2002) Bartlett revisited: reconfiguration of long-term memory in young and older adults, The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 2002, 163(2), 211-18.

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