One-Eyed Shrinks?
February 7, 2011 1:13 PM   Subscribe

I cannot for the life of me remember the name of a particular social psychologist (personality psychologist? plain old psychologist?) who I learned about in a Psych 101 class. All I remember is he had an eyepatch and an unusually colorful or bizarre personal life.

I don't remember what theories he popularized or much of anything else, except initially I thought he went by two initials (like BF Skinner, though he is not BF Skinner, I don't think) and I am fairly sure the time period was mid-20th century.

I hope I am not just making this person up.
posted by StopMakingSense to Education (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
At the moment I can't think of anyone off the top of my head, but when I go home I can look through my History of Psych book and see if I can find anyone pictured with an eye patch.

However, one idea to maybe help you search: When and where did you take this Psych 101 class? Could you somehow search the university website and see if there is a syllabus or a textbook listing that you can search through? That might help narrow down your search or jog your memory somewhat.
posted by MultiFaceted at 2:21 PM on February 7, 2011

That's a good suggestion and I'll give it a try.

I'm also remembering that he may have suffered from serious mental illness at some point in his career?
posted by StopMakingSense at 2:35 PM on February 7, 2011

The eyepatch doesn't ring a bell for me either. (Speaking of behaviorism, ha ha)

"Colorful or bizarre personal life" would suggest Carl Jung, although the same could be said, to a lesser extent, of John B. Watson, who is perhaps subconsciously suggesting to you Skinner?
posted by MimeticHaHa at 2:36 PM on February 7, 2011

I thought he went by two initials

Any chance it was RD Laing? He had a troubled family life, though I'm not sure I'd call it "bizarre." He did put out an album; the cover features weird eyes, which may have possibly led to your eyepatch memory.
posted by (alice) at 2:36 PM on February 7, 2011

Are you conflating Paul M. A. Linebarger (Cordwainer Smith) and Alan C. Elms
(cited as A.C. Elms)?
posted by the Real Dan at 2:38 PM on February 7, 2011

Serious mental illness also points to Jung, who wrote his legendary "Red Book" while experiencing what to later lights was probably an extremely manic or even psychotic episode.
posted by MimeticHaHa at 2:40 PM on February 7, 2011

Definitely not Jung or Laing. I don't think Watson, either.

It is also possible that I am thinking of Harry Stack Sullivan who was (possibly) gay and (possibly, briefly) institutionalized. But in that case I have no idea where this image of a man with an eyepatch is coming from.
posted by StopMakingSense at 2:42 PM on February 7, 2011

I did some quick text processing to check if there were any matches between Wikipedia's list of psychologists and the list of Notable eyepatch-wearers - no luck, I'm afraid.

1) Save wikipedia code for the two lists.
2) egrep -o "\[\[[^]]*?]]" inputfile | sed 's/\[\[//' | sed 's/\]\]//' | cut -f 1 -d\| | grep -v : | cut -f 1 -d\( | sort > outputfile
to hackily strip off wiki-junk
3) use comm to look for matching lines.

posted by zamboni at 3:35 PM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

ok, on phone so i can't make with the linky-linky, but is the image you are thinking of author james joyce? There is a portrait session where he's sportin' an eyepatch under his spex.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 2:13 AM on February 8, 2011

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