Twelve Years of Correspondence with Paul Meehl
by Donald R Peterson (9780805854893)

Twelve Years of Correspondence with Paul Meehl
Donald R Peterson
Release Date: 20 May 2005
Format: Hardback
Pages: 212
Category: Psychology & Psychiatry
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISBN: 9780805854893
ISBN-10: 0805854894

In 1996 Division 12 of the American Psychological Association presented Centennial Awards to two psychologists who were considered to have made the greatest lifetime contributions to the discipline. One of the honored individuals was Paul Everett Meehl. His arguments that schizophrenia has a strong genetic component, and that statistical formulas are superior to clinical judgment in predicting people's behavior are both widely accepted today. Dr. Meehl's writings on research methodology and mental illness influenced generations of researchers and psychotherapists. Twelve Years of Correspondence is composed mainly of letters between Drs. Paul Meehl and Donald Peterson during the final 12 years of Meehl's life. Peterson was one of Meehl's earliest Ph.D. students and the two corresponded throughout their careers. After Meehl's death, Dr. Peterson revisited their correspondence and found a remarkable order in it. One topic flowed into another. With some connective, explanatory text, the letters shaped themselves into a book. The correspondence forms a story of the relationship between an extraordinary mentor and his student, as well as a dialogue between two eminent clinical psychologists. The letters explore penetrating questions and underlying arguments about some of the most recondite and recalcitrant issues that scientists and practitioners encounter in their efforts to understand the human condition. Paul Meehl contributed notably to seven areas: philosophy of science, learning, schizophrenia, clinical and research training, personality assessment, taxometrics, and clinical versus statistical prediction. Donald Peterson shared many of Meehl's interests, with special emphasis on education for the practice of psychology. The letters touch on each of these areas and examine some issues more thoroughly than either Meehl or Peterson had done in any other writings. The book includes an extensive set of endnotes that identify the many works that are referred to in the letters as well as explanatory comments on remarks expressed in the original exchanges. Paul Meehl is widely recognized as the grand master of critical analysis in psychology. This intimate look into his way of thinking will appeal to graduate students and professionals in such diverse fields as psychology, psychiatry, biology, sociology, law, education, and philosophy.

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