Morton Isaacs


Although the beginnings of psychology as a discipline were present from the late nineteenth century, the field truly began to differentiate itself from philosophy in American during the twentieth century. Beginning in these formative years and continuing to the present, Jews have contributed greatly to the topics that occupied psychology in many areas. Rather than see this as a coincidence, it is maintained that central values and concepts of Judaism induced Jews both to be attracted to and to shape the direction in which psychology grew. Examples of major contributors from the areas of individual personality development and therapy and of social psychology are presented, along with a discussion of how the Jewish experience influenced their focus and work.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Presented to the Interdisciplinary Graduate School Psychology Division at the University of Muenster, Muenster Germany: May 28, 1997. Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Psychology (CLA)


RIT – Main Campus