Ronald David Laing

Research Biography of a Psychologist
Individual Project: You will write a biography of an eminent person in the history of psychology. Select a person (living or not) from the period of 1879 to the present. This person should have a Ph.D. in Psychology. Your job is to learn everything you can about the person and his or her “legacy contribution.” You also should learn about the major social and political events that occurred before and during the life of your person. Why? Because people rarely create ideas independently of their social and political context.
Areas to address in your biography are:
(a) their life (2-3 pgs)
(b) the ideas, events, and people that influenced them (2-3 pgs)
(c) their specific contributions to the science or practice of psychology (2-3 pgs)
(d) what happened to their legacy contribution in subsequent years/generations (2-3 pgs)
To do well with this assignment, you must begin your research immediately. Locate and read the best available biography of your person. Locate and read articles written about or by your person. Trace the history of your person’s legacy contribution by searching for articles influenced by or written about them in different decades.
Your paper will be scored on how well it: (a) succinctly summarizes your person’s life and (b) identifies the prevailing Zeitgeist and other influences, (c) describes his or her contributions to psychology, and (d) traces the historical development and current status of your person’s legacy contribution.
You will need to provide at least 5 references for your paper. Your sources should include at least two books (or book chapters), three journal articles written by your person (or about your person or about your person’s legacy contribution), and no more than one trustworthy Internet source (NOT wikipedia). The paper, written in APA style, should be 10-12 typed pages. Each of the parts of your paper should be about the same length. Factual statements in the paper must be properly referenced. Your paper can earn a maximum of 100 points. Late papers will be docked 10 points per day. A hard copy of your paper, along with the first page of each reference you used, is due by 5pm on July 27. I will be in my office all day to take them.
Important Guidelines
*Make sure to use the PsychInfo database. Others are limited in their scope of coverage.
* Make minimal use of direct quotes on this assignment. Make sure to summarize the abstracts that you are reading in your own words– never copy any phrases or sentences directly or closely paraphrase the original authors. Do not quote the titles of the papers you cite in the body of your paper.
*Citations in your paper should be consistent with the APA publication manual. For example:
• Smith (1998) found that…..
• Smith and his colleagues conducted a number of studies that investigated…. (Smith, 1998; Smith & Jones, 1999).

*NOTE: You may NOT choose any of the following psychologists/psychiatrists/researchers that are historical figures who have been the focus of substantial biographical research: Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Albert Bandura, B.F. Skinner, John B. Watson, Ivan Pavlov, Jean Piaget, William James, Erik Erikson, Carl Rogers.

*Supporting References
A reference section is required for this paper. Additionally, for each citation you make within your paper, you must print out the title page from the journal article that you found on PsychInfo (or first page from book chapter) and attach it to the back of your paper in the order cited.