On This Day … 08 December

Mental Health Matters

People (Births)

  • 1928 – Ulric Neisser, German-American psychologist, neuroscientist, and academic (d. 2012).
  • 1949 – Robert Sternberg, American psychologist and academic.

Ulric Neisser

Ulric Gustav Neisser (08 December 1928 to 17 February 2012) was a German-born American psychologist and member of the US National Academy of Sciences. He has been referred to as the “father of cognitive psychology”.

Neisser researched and wrote about perception and memory. He posited that a person’s mental processes could be measured and subsequently analysed. In 1967, Neisser published Cognitive Psychology, which he later said was considered an attack on behaviourist psychological paradigms.

Cognitive Psychology brought Neisser instant fame and recognition in the field of psychology. While Cognitive Psychology was considered unconventional, it was Neisser’s Cognition and Reality that contained some of his most controversial ideas. A main theme in Cognition and Reality is Neisser’s advocacy for experiments on perception occurring in natural (“ecologically valid”) settings.

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