William McDougall

William McDougall

          PROFESSOR OF Psychology at Harvard University, author of Body and Mind and Social Psychology, President of the SPR for 1920-21 and of the ASPR for 1921. Member of the Scientific American Committee for the investigation of Margery Crandon's mediumship. A keen but reserved investigator who takes great care not to commit himself as to the genuine occurrence of the supernormal and agencies of an extra-terrene origin.


McDougall authored widely read books on psychology and ethics. He is the exponent of heroic psychology, the central idea being that human progress can only be determined in terms of "drive". He believed that individuals are motivated by inherited instincts that push them toward goals, which may be unknown to them.

A fellow of the Royal Society, he is accepted even today by academic psychologists with some ambivalence as a brilliant British-American pioneer. British psychology is largely shaped by McDougall’s social psychology, which in J Drever’s words, "is perhaps as much undervalued today as it was overvalued then."

Source (with minor modifications): An Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science by Nandor Fodor (1934).

Articles by William McDougall on this website:

Alternating Personalities

Coexisting or Coconscious Personalities

Trance Personalities

Theory of Personality and of its Disintegration

Integration and Disintegration from the Point of View of Consciousness



Some parts of this page The International Survivalist Society 2004