Raymond Bernard Cattell

In Alphabetical Order

Jack Block
Greg Boyle
Devon (Elaine) Cattell
Eric Cattell
Ralph Mason Dreger
Roy Childs
Hans Eysenk
David Gerard
Benjamin Fruchter
William G. Harris
Richard A. Harshman
Kim Iannetta
John I. Levy
Mark Michaels
Michael B. Miller
Kari E. Nurmi
Donald Peterson

Ivan Scheier

Klaus A. Schneewind
Maurice Tatsuoka
Robert J. Throckmorton
Janus Wehmer

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Jack Block, Ph.D

I did not know Ray well personally;  we were geographically distant.  But from my graduate student days on, his thinking re personality and re data were very important influences on me.  I usually agreed with him and, when I did not, his position compelled me to sharpen and better justify mine.  He was indeed a great personality psychologist, innovative for decades in many fields......

Professor Emeritus
Institute of Human Development
Department of Psychology

University of California, Berkeley

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Gregory Boyle, Ph.D., D.Sc.

Two of the greatest and most prolific contributors to the science of human personality during the 20th century were Professor Raymond B. Cattell, Ph.D., D.Sc., and Professor Hans J. Eysenck, Ph.D., D.Sc.   While Cattell pursued his academic career in prestigious USA universities (Harvard, Clark, Illinois), Eysenck undertook his lifelong work at the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London.  It is indeed ironic that the world would lose the two most eminent personality researchers within the space of only a few weeks.

So prominent were these two men, that their work is now enshrined in the Cattellian and Eysenckian Schools of Psychology, respectively.  Critics of the psychology of individual differences have often claimed naively that the use of factor analysis in test construction has "only lead to confusion -- since Eysenck found three factors, while Cattell found 16 factors" within the personality domain.  Yet these ill-informed critics failed to understand that Eysenck and Cattell were talking about personality measurement at different levels within the hierarchical trait model.  Cattell concentrated on primary factors, while Eysenck focused on broader secondary dimensions.  Indeed, at the second-order 16PF level, the  degree of communality between the Eysenckian and Cattellian factors was striking!

         "The Cattell and Eysenck constructs and theories should be seen,
          not as mutually contradictory, but as complementary and mutually
                          The Late Hans Eysenck (1984). Cattell and the theory
                          of Personality. Mult. Behav. Res, 19, 323-336.

My own academic career was greatly facilitated by the intellectual and moral encouragement of both these giants of personality psychology.  I will remain forever indebted to both Ray Cattell and Hans Eysenck for their ground-breaking work.

Department of Psychology
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Bond University

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Devon (Elaine) Cattell

Dad died in his sleep of a failing heart on February 2, 1998.  He was in bed, surrounded by loved ones:  his dear wife and his two dogs.  His funeral took place in a lovely cathedral in Honolulu;  people came from all over the world to say goodbye to him.  His burial was in a green meadow with a breathtaking view of the Hawaii he loved.  After the burial we all went to the house for high tea.  As the afternoon waned we sang many of his favorite songs, from "Widecombe Faire" to "What Do You Do With the Drunken Sailor" to "You Are My Sunshine."  I had sung them with him when I had visited with him only a month before;  his love of singing together gave the same spirit to the songs that they had when we sang them on family car trips 30 years ago.  Singing songs and recounting limericks were some of the things that cheered him up when his failing health made him sad.

He had such a big heart and dearly loved his family and his dogs. I will never forget his last words to me, "Goodbye, My Sweetie."

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Eric Cattell

I only wish that I had met my grandfather now, when I am finally old enough to understand the true intellect that he
possessed. He was a fluent and well spoken gentleman with an exquisite understanding of the human psyche and human behavior. He was dedicated to his work and dedicated to the advancement of mankind. He had dreams of utopia, and ambitions to succeed and fulfill those ambitions. He may have appeared harsh to many, logic is often interpreted as such, but he was always thoughtful, and always aware of his consequentialist belief. He genuinely wanted to work towards creating the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people.

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Roy Childs, Ph.D.

Ray Cattell is one of the most respected psychologists of his generation.  He is known the world over for his pioneering work into personality, and for his best known instrument, the 16PF.  In 1990, 1991, and 1992, we here at Team Focus arranged a seminar for 16PF users, which were eventually known as "The Cattell Seminars."  Even at the advanced age of 88, when most people are long retired or unable to hold the floor, Ray was still able to captivate his audience with the details of his work as well as his reminiscences. I remember being fascinated by this figure, this man who was a giant in my chosen field of psychology.

We at Team Focus were honoured to be able to host these seminars which he presented with his wife, Heather Birkett Cattell, author of The 16PF: Personality in Depth.   Having read Ray's work and realising what a sharp and potentially caustic wit he had, it was a genuine honour to meet him and to discover such a friendly, kindly and humorous man.

It is one of the remarkable features of human existence that some things are highly predictable and yet deeply shocking.  Given Ray's great age, I cannot say that I was surprised to learn that he had passed away, and yet the emotion caught me unawares.  I would like to say that I am deeply sorry and know that he will be sorely missed by his family and many people the world over including all of us at Team Focus.  We wish to record our great respect.

Fellow, British Psychological Society
Managing Director
Team Focus
Maidenhead, U.K.

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Ralph Mason Dreger, Ph.D.
My Personal Tribute to Raymond B. Cattell

One of the great psychologists of the twentieth century has left us.  I am proud to have been a friend and co-worker of his for over thirty-five years.  When we first met, he came at my invitation to my university to take part in a gathering of high-powered professionals in a number of fields allied to mental health.  Because factor analysis was the chief method we were using to analyze our data, and I could tell that a number of participants were thoroughly at sea on the method, I prevailed on Ray to substitute a lecture on factor analysis for his prepared address.  He complied with the request and delivered one of the most brilliantly simple expositions on the topic I could have imagined.

Having worked with Ray for some years on one project, the Handbook of Modern Personality Theory, and for many years on another one, what is now published as the Personality Questionnaire for Preschool Children, I have an enormous respect for him and his vast range of accomplishments.  On some issues we had some disagreement:  yet, we agreed on major issues and goals, including something that he held early on, which some authorities on child development deny.  That is that preschool children, 4, 5, and 6 year olds, are capable of responding meaningfully to questionnaires, with a questionnaire designed for them, not a refurbished one devised for older children, a position my research team has amply proven with testing thousands of preschool children.

Like a number of others of Ray Cattell's colleagues, I recognized that he was a past master at exploiting us;  but he fulfilled a principle expressed by one researcher, "I exploited them for their own good."  I am thankful to Ray for enabling me to be engaged in his projects which have been so fulfilling for me.  On quite a pragmatic level, I am thankful to Ray for the useful tools which he devised or upon which he improved.  One could cite a number of these, but the r-subp and p-technique have been especially useful to me in my research.

We shall miss you, Ray;  we are deeply grateful for all you have meant to us.

Professor Emeritus of Psychology
Louisiana State University

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Hans Eysenck, Ph.D., D.Sc.

Raymond Cattell has been one of the most influential and original psychologists working in the field of individual differences in intelligence and personality, in psychometrics and in behaviour genetics, and his voluminous writings have been crucial in the development of a scientific psychology.  Many of his discoveries have become universal property, such as the distinction between fluid and crystallized ability, or the state-trait dichotomy.  Few people can have a better claim for recognition by virtue of the rigor and originality of the work done.

Professor of Psychology
Institute of Psychiatry
King's College
United Kingdom

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Benjamin Fruchter, Ph.D.

Ray had a great influence on my professional life, as he had on so many others.  No doubt I came to his attention with the publication of my text, Introduction to Factor Analysis in 1954, after the publication of his book, Factor Analysis in 1952.  He invited me to an organizational meeting at the University of Illinois' Allerton Estate, where we ended up founding the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology (SMEP) that year.  I remember being with him at many SMEP meetings, in places such as Princeton, Banff, UCLA and Hawaii.  He was always charming, and he also introduced me to his "constitutionals" when having a walk around the Princeton Campus.  Ray's contributions to psychology and methodology are truly impressive, and I consider him a real genius, in the British and Continental tradition.

My wife, Dr. Dorothy Fruchter, sends this anecdote:  When SMEP met at the University of Texas in Austin, a fairly large party for members and guests was held at our home. One honored guest was Dr. Karl Dallenback Chairman of the UT Psychology Dept.  There was a new person on the "name tag" table, and she asked me how she could recognize Dr. Dallenback, and I answered, "He has a small goatee."   However, Ray turned out to be wearing a small goatee that year, and Karl's name tag was immediately attached to his jacket.  The party was spirited, crowded, and noisy, and I was rushing around until about midway through, when I finally got a chance to talk to Ray.  Then, to my horror, I noticed he had the wrong name-tag, and I rushed to get him the correct tag.  But Ray got a huge kick out of the whole situation, and then went through the rest of the evening with one name tag on each lapel.  He told me that he had never had so much fun at a party as being "lionized as Karl Dallenback."  What a marvelous person Ray was!

Professor Emeritus
University of Texas at Austin

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David Gerard, Ph.D.

Dr. Cattell's work in the area of the 16PF has been very useful in assisting many of my executive clients to make important discoveries about themselves. They have applied this new information, gained from my work with them with the 16PF, to better manage their work places and their own lives. 

It is regrettable that the controversy erupting over his purported views and race resulted in the APA award confusion.  Dr. Cattell made a very significant contribution to human self-understanding. He will be greatly missed.

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William G. Harris, M.S., Ph.D.

The contributions of Dr. Cattell to the field of behavioral science will live well into the next millennium.

Executive Director of Assn. of Test Publishers

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Richard A. Harshman, Ph.D.

Raymond Cattell has had a major impact on my scientific work and life.  In college, while reading his book on factor analysis, I was struck by his fundamental insights concerning factor rotation.  His ideas pointed to important new ways of doing rotation and indeed factor analysis itself.  Developing such a factor method has been a major focus of my scientific work for over 25 years.  Several times along the way Raymond Cattell gave me his personal encouragement (on one occasion I visited him at his home in Illinois).  Now, his insights are finding applications not only in Psychology but also in other disciplines such as Chemistry. Of course, as a psychologist I have also benefited from the rich array of other important ideas that he has contributed to us.  I will remember Raymond Cattell with deep admiration and gratitude.

Department of Psychology
Univ. of Western Ontario

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Kim Iannetta

Raymond had the most loving celebration of life that I have ever witnessed.  The day was beautiful and family, friends and colleagues came from far and wide to honor a man who was larger than life.

The morning began at the Episcopal Cathedral in Honolulu where hundreds gathered to pay their last respects.  The service was cheerful and sprinkled with stories and humor.  A fellow researcher of long standing (and minister), Richard Gorsuch, gave the first eulogy, and then Ray's eldest son, Herry, spoke for the five children.  Suzanne Hammer,  a psychiatrist and a dear friend of the Cattells, spoke for all of their friends in the islands, and then Edith Sewell (an Episcopal minister) another long time friend, conducted the traditional service.

Lots of local foods were served while we all gathered in the cathedral's sunny courtyard to pay tribute,  exchange stories of Ray, and remember the good times before proceeding to the Valley of the Temples.  Closer friends and family gathered round the hilltop that Ray had chosen and his wife Heather Birkett Cattell read a favorite poem of Ray's, the Soldier, by Rupert Brooke.

. . . . with the sound of "Amazing Grace" playing on bagpipes floating atop a
beautiful hill looking out to the sea . . . .

We then returned to their home, which was set for high tea with all manner of beautiful pastries. Ray's children Herry, Mary, Heather, Rick, and Elaine sang from a book of family songs and we sang with them until late in the evening with the moon sparkling on the water that Ray had sailed on a few years earlier.  The music included songs, culled from many nations and ages as were his friends and interests.  There were natives from the UK, Ireland, Kenya, Israel, Japan, South America, South Africa, Canada, China, and of course the local blends that are hard to pin down to any specific background.  His close friends included people of all shades of color and beliefs.  He had a wonderful way of including everyone and making them feel welcome, as does Heather.  Much was shared of his scientific work, and also his warmth and acceptance of people on a more personal level. There was much laughter and tears interspersed with again many more personal stories that were brought out by those gathered of the distant past by the memories of the songs.  His longtime friends and fellow researchers and his biographer, John Gillis, added another dimension, and it was a night to remember.  His children were wonderful and sang their hearts out, and at the end of the endless day and evening we joined hands in the moonlight and thanked our lucky stars to have known and been part of the life of such a great man.

Much was made by everyone of Ray's warmth and loving openness since his marriage to Heather.  His children have come to love and care for her and were so thankful for her patient devotion, making his last difficult year as fine as it could be.  We all agreed that we should all be so lucky to have passed in such a manner.

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John I. Levy

I worked with Dr. Cattell in the early 1970s on motivation in children during the latency period. We had to go all the way to Cairo, Illinois to find "unbiased subjects" who hadn't been already tested by somebody from the University. Even as a lowly undergraduate Dr. Cattell accorded me the respect of an equal colleague. I can still remember this vividly after 30 years. As a result of Dr. Cattell's example, I now try to treat younger people in the manner that Dr. Cattell treated me. Dr. Cattell was the first English person that I had ever met. I was so impressed by his sense of humor and good manners. I am now working on a second master's degree here at Harvard, and I still try to live by the excellent example that he set both personally and professionally those many years ago. Dr. Cattell had a significant impact on my life, and I will always be extremely grateful.

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Mark Michaels, Ph.D.

After working as a colleague with his children for almost 15 years, I finally met Dr. Cattell at the APA reception last summer.  Our discourse was short, but for me, very sweet.  Our shared belief in science emerged in the discussion.  And now reading his APA response letter, I know that his work and beliefs are on the verge of being validated.  Dr. Cattell's passing is a great loss for all of us.

Parkland College

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Michael B. Miller, M.S., Ph.D., M.P.E.

Great web page!  Dr. Cattell was a very important figure in the history of psychology and he deserves to be remembered in a very positive way.

Department of Psychology
University of Missouri--Columbia

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Kari E. Nurmi, Ph.D.

Raymond B. Cattell was one of my heros since the middle sixties.  I looked for him in Alta Vista just to check whether he still was alive.   I'm sad to find out that this is not case.  Please accept my late condolences.

Professor Cattell is widely read among Finnish psychologists and social scientists, and he has had a marked effect on research here - at least since the beginnings of fifties.  For quite some time his way of doing research was the main accepted paradigm, and there must be thousands of research reports and dissertations that are indebted to him, sometimes without the researcher being aware of it but very often by direct reference to his writings.  If you are interested I could list some of the most representative of them, as few of us have had the privilege of knowing him personally.

I have lectured about his theories yearly and used his personality theory in several research projects.  I have had the opportunity of being a member of a project in which we used his theory of anxiety in a sample of Finnish adolescents and it could hardly have been a better match, despite the cultural differences.

Professor of Adult Education
Department of Education
University of Helsinki

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Donald Peterson, Ph.D.

I regret deeply that I will not be able to make the memorial for your father that you have planned.  I was not only profoundly influenced by Ray as a scholar and observer of the human condition, I was very fond of him personally.  I have appreciated the opportunity to say so publicly in print on some occasions, and I will miss the chance to express my sympathy to you personally.  I will be forever grateful for the chance you gave so many of us last year to see Ray a final time--to pay our respects to his gigantic intellect and enormous influence on us and on the field at large; and at the same time to express our appreciation for the personal inspiration, encouragement, and friendship that he gave so generously.  I hope by now some of the evil effects of last year's attack have washed away.  What a cruel blow that was, but what a small matter in the long, illustrious life of a truly great man

Emeritus Professor of Psychology
Rutgers University

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Ivan Scheier, Ph.D.
Raymond Cattell:  Recollections in a Lighter Vein

Certain traits tend to be neglected in official biographies, so let it be said here that Raymond Cattell had a good sense of humor.  I hope that helped him tolerate the following anecdote which I mailed to him a few months before his death:

Ray Cattell invented the work ethic, or anyway perfected it, or so it seemed to an awed young research associate at his laboratory 1955 to 1958.  I remember once he asked me to look over a list he'd made of his books.  I was astonished to discover 35 of them, even that early in his career.  I was even more astonished to discover that he'd forgotten to include a few!  Publication-hungry young researcher that I was, I thought:  "Someday, I too will have written enough books so I can forget some!" (Alas, this has never happened though, heaven knows, I've tried to forget a few.)

Ray was the hardest working man I ever met.  As near as I could tell, recreation, in those days, consisted of him doing a landscape painting once a year, on Christmas Day.  Later, the recreation program expanded to include golf -- or more accurately, an activity somehow connected with a  golf course.  To avoid spending more than one hour away from the Lab, Ray would run nine holes, substantially lagged by an athletic colleague twenty years his junior.  Nor was the sporting climatically deterred in any way.   Indeed, many people are not aware of Ray's contributions to Arctic golf.  If you have never tried to chip out of a snow bank, it is an activity I hesitate to recommend.  But I did enjoy the smiles and remember them . . .

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Klaus A. Schneewind, Ph.D.

From 1967-68 I had the privilege to work with Dr. Cattell as a visiting research associate for more than a year. It was one of the most productive and inspiring periods in my life. I vividly remember his expertise in psychometric personality assessment and equally well his trust in assigning me the difficult task of getting a complex study on motivation on the way. Personally and academically I owe very much to him and I bow down before one of the most eminent psychologists of our century whose ideas, I am sure, will have a lasting impact on generations of psychologists to come.

Department of Psychology
University of Munich

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Maurice M. Tatsuoka, Ph.D.

Ray's contributions to psychological science span research into the nature of the whole gamut of human psychological attributes from intelligence and creativity through motivation and achievement to personality traits.  In all of these ventures, he brought strict scientific method to bear, using factor analysis as his main tool.  The numerous outcomes of Dr. Cattell's vigorous research activities range from the highly practical to the esoteric and theoretical.  The former include such important and widely used measuring instruments as the Culture Fair Intelligence Tests, the Motivation Analysis Test, the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (and its variants), and the Clinical Analysis Questionnaire.  The latter include many conceptual developments, chief among which is the distinction he introduced, within the general ability domain, between crystallized and fluid ability.  Recognition of this distinction added greatly to our understanding of human intellect as well as enhancing the predictability of differential aptitudes for different occupational categories.

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Robert J. Throckmorton

Ever since the would-be "Science" of Psychology emerged in the late 19th century from the Philosophy Department of a German University, its professors, researchers and practitioners have been trying to put "some meat" on its bare bones. Unlike the other sciences, Psychology is replete with "Schools." It's much like an 18th century British warship with a lot of loose cannons rolling around the gun deck. However, ever so often, a figure with impeccable credentials, legendary drive, and keen intellect appears on the scene and attempts to bring some order to that gun deck and drape the robe of quantification over the skeleton's shoulders. Raymond Bernard Cattell, Ph.D., D.Sc. was one such figure.

Ray saw himself in the line of Charles Darwin, Sir Francis Galton, Karl Pearson, Charles Spearman, Sir Cyril Burt and L. L. Thurstone, in short, he joined the Western empirical effort to solve the "riddle of the universe" which had been covertly set in a new direction by Charles Darwin, Louis Pasteur & Gregor Mendel between the years of 1859 and 1867. Ray was an amalgam of the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland and Merlin in King Arthur. Like the white rabbit, he was always in a hurry, and like Merlin he was working magic, but not with spells and incantations but with with factor-analysis coupled with an uncompromising empirical approach. In his Motivation Analysis Test (MAT), he made a pioneer attempt to quantify the Pleasure Principle and its Siamese twin, the Reality Principle. Of his five named Sentiments and his five named Ergs on that test, there is little doubt that his personal favorite was the Narcism-Comfort erg.

A fitting annual memorial to him would be a unique dinner prepared by a master chef. For its possible first menu, I suggest the following: Appetizer of fugu fish and saki followed by kangaroo tail soup and a salad of heart of palm, blanched asparagus & radicchio. Three choices for the main course: buffalo steaks, or Entrecote a la bordelaise, or poulet de brobdingnag cutlets served with mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, and steamed carrots. Dessert will always be Parfait Claudine. This last delicacy is made as follows: heat one cup of water to boiling in a two-quart saucepan. Remove from heat and add one package of lemon Jello and stir until dissolved. Add one pint of vanilla ice cream cut into pieces to the hot liquid, then stir until melted. Blend in one tsp of vanilla and one tsp of rum flavoring. Chill until mixture is thickened but not set (if it sets, start over)--that should take 15 to 25 minutes. Beat two eggs with two tablespoons of sugar until thick and light then fold into the ice cream mixture. Turn into a cooled baked pie shell. Sprinkle with nutmeg and chill until firm. Top with whipped cream and pastry cutouts. Serve Lindsey Matt's Baseball Tea with the meal and drambuie (2 oz) and coffee made by the Toddy method with the dessert. Goodbye, noble researcher, may Tatiana and Oberon see you on your way.

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Janus Wehmer
(Family Friend)

I was fortunate enough to grow up with Ray's four youngest children, living just two houses away from their home in Champaign, Illinois.  Although I spent most of my time at their household when their father was away (like many fathers, he wanted his cherished time at home to be spent devoid of the neighborhood kids), I learned much about art, music, and individualism from the Cattell clan.

One particular "oddity" which many of the adult neighbors seemed unable to grasp was Ray's outdoor pool:  it was shaped like the English Channel, complete with a two foot square Isle of Wight.  I loved that pool, and the cool forest of pines that surrounded it and the flagstone patio.  It taught me at a very tender age that it was GOOD to be different.

A few years later, Ray's niece in England sent over some records by a group strangely named "The Beatles," and Elaine and I were among the first youngsters in Central Illinois to ride that wave of Beatle mania into our teenage years.  I don't know what Ray thought of all that (except that he wanted the stereo volume kept LOW -- so he could read and write upstairs).  But his love for his children turned them into good adults, and they will forever be my "brothers and sisters" in my heart.

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