Hans Eysenck

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Hans Jürgen Eysenck (/ˈaɪzɛŋk/ EYE-zenk; 4 March 1916 – 4 September 1997) was a Jewish, German-born psychologist who spent his professional career in Great Britain. He is best remembered for his work on intelligence and personality, although he worked on other issues in psychology. At the time of his death, Eysenck was the most frequently cited living psychologist in the peer-reviewed scientific journal literature.


  • Scientists, especially when they leave the particular field in which they have specialized, are just as ordinary, pigheaded and unreasonable as anybody else.
    • Continuum, OMNIMagazine, Volume 2, (December 1979), p. 49
  • I always felt that a scientist owes the world only one thing, and that is the truth as he sees it. If the truth contradicts deeply held beliefs, that is too bad. Tact and diplomacy are fine in international relations, in politics, perhaps even in business; in science only one thing matters, and that is the facts.
    • Rebel With a Cause: The Autobiography of Hans Eysenck (ed. Transaction Publishers, 1997), ISBN 9781412832748
  • [R]oughly two-thirds of a group of neurotic patients will recover or improve to a marked extent within about two years of the onset of their illness, whether they are treated by means of psychotherapy or not.
    • Together with Glenn Daniel Wilson (1973). The experimental study of Freudian theories, Methuen Publishing
  • There thus appears to be an inverse correlation between recovery and psychotherapy; the more psychotherapy, the smaller the recovery rate.
    • Personality, Genetics, and Behavior: Selected Papers (ed. Praeger Publishers, 1982)
  • They bought research as they bought vegetables - a wonderful insight into official thinking about science.
    • Genius: The Natural History of Creativity
  • If the reader does not like some of the facts that emerge, I hope against hope that he will not blame me for their existence.
    • The IQ argument: race, intelligence, and education
  • [W]hat is new in his theories is not true, and what is true in his theories is not new.
    • Decline and Fall of the Freudian Empire

Intelligence: A New Look[edit]

  • What you read in the newspapers, hear on the radio and see on television, is hardly even the truth as seen by experts; it is the wishful thinking of journalists, seen through filters of prejudice and ignorance.
  • It would be very peculiar if a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complexities, learn quickly, and benefit from experience, did not have very important implications.
  • The social problems that arise, arise from the facts, not our investigation of these facts.

Inequality of Man[edit]

  • Modern education does no favour to the children it is supposed to teach when it de-emphasizes facts; although facts are not the only important things in life, in science, and in the arts, they nevertheless constitute the absolutely essential substructure without which nothing worthwhile can be built.
  • [T]he American Government is in fact enforcing a system of employment on the universities under which they are required, under pain of bankruptcy, to employ members of minority groups in spite of the fact that a better qualified member of a non-minority group is applying for the job...Quotas were considered undesirable when they were used against minority groups; they do not become desirable when they are used against majority groups. Positive discrimination, so called, is still discrimination against somebody; one man`s positive discrimination is another man`s negative discrimination. Furthermore, who shall define a minority?...Why are some minorities more minor than others?
  • Nothing succeeds like success; children who opt out of school have had a continued record of failure, and it would be difficult to blame the children themselves for voting with their feet and playing truant as much as possible. This failure is not necessary; it is imposed on the children by inappropriate methods of teaching which do not take into account the innate patterns of abilities of these children. A return to sanity is long overdue; we must pay close attention to the genetic basis of our children`s abilities.

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