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“Historical Impact in Psychology Differs Between Demographic Groups”

Forthcoming from New Ideas in Psychology is an article reporting the results of the PsyBorg‘s historical psychologist rating game we previously reported on in 2016. As the article reports, “although …overall rankings had considerable similarity with traditional efforts, we also found that rankings differed markedly among different demographic groups, undermining the assumption of a general measure of eminence that is valid for all.” Full details below.

“Historical impact in psychology differs between demographic groups,” by Christopher D. Green & Shane M. Martin. Abstract:

Psychology has a long tradition of creating lists of the most eminent members of the discipline. Such lists are typically created under the assumption that there is a general answer to the question of eminence, covering all psychologists everywhere. We wondered, however, to what degree perceived eminence depends on the individual’s particular demographic situation. Specifically, are different historical figures “eminent” to people of different genders, ages, and geographical locations? We tested this by asking a wide swath of people – mostly psychologists – who they think has had the most impact on the discipline of psychology, historically. We used an online game in which “players” were shown a series of pairs of significant figures from psychology’s past and asked to select which had had the greater impact. We then converted these selections into a ranked list using the Elo rating system. Although our overall rankings had considerable similarity with traditional efforts, we also found that rankings differed markedly among different demographic groups, undermining the assumption of a general measure of eminence that is valid for all.

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