Géza Révész (psychologist)

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Géza Révész
1953 Géza Révész.jpg
Géza Révész in 1953
Born(1878-12-09)December 9, 1878
Died(1955-08-19)August 19, 1955
ChildrenJudith Révész

Géza Révész (Siófok, Hungary, 9 December 1878-Amsterdam, Netherlands, 19 August 1955) was a Jewish Hungarian-Dutch psychologist, and is regarded as one of the pioneers of European psychology.[1]


Revesz was born in the Siofok, Hungary, a town located at Lake Balaton, where his father owned a famous vineyard.[1] He studied law in Budapest and received his doctorate in 1902, when he finished his dissertation entitled Das Trauerjahr der Witwe.

Revesz continued his studies at various German universities, including in Göttingen. While in Göttingen, he studied psychology with Georg Elias Müller, with whom he completed his doctorate and his thesis Über die vom Weiß ausgehende Schwächung der Wirksamkeit farbiger Lichtreize in 1905. During this time, Revesz also became friends with phenomenological psychologists David Katz, Gustav Kafka and Edgar Rubin, who all played a role in the emergence of Gestalt psychology.[2]

In 1906, Revesz returned to Budapest, and went to work at the University of Budapest. He was assistant to the Austrian physiologist Franz Tangl. The late psychologist Imre Hermann was his assistant there. Revesz worked at the university as an experimental psychologist. Initially, he was involved in the hearing. In 1913, he proposed observing pitches for a two-component model. From 1909 to 1915, he studied musical prodigy Ervin Nyiregyházi.[3] Revesz was also a professor of psychology during his time at the University of Budapest.

In 1920, at the invitation of Gerard Heymans, Revesz left Hungary for the Netherlands. At the University of Amsterdam, he was appointed as private teacher and began his research into the sense of touch. Along with Philip Kohnstamm, Revesz ran the psychological-pedagogical laboratory, but this did not last long due to lack of funds.[4]

In 1932, Revesz was awarded a full professorship in the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Amsterdam. In that capacity, he was a promoter of Adriaan de Groot. With David Katz, Revesz founded in 1935 the journal Acta Psychologica on. In 1933, he opened his own psychological laboratory, with 40 rooms and an auditorium, which was unprecedented at that time in Europe.[1] He worked there with Philip Kohnstamm, with whom he fled the Netherlands in 1938 because the growing situation in Germany.

Revesz died at the age of 76 in Amsterdam. His work on the psychology of music is still relevant today. The filmmaker/photographer Emile Moerkerken was a staunch supporter of Révész.


  1. ^ a b c Henry Pieron, "Geza Revesz: 1878-1955", in: The American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 69, No. 1 (Mar., 1956), pp. 139-141.
  2. ^ Vittorio Busato (2006), Korte biografie van Révész, Universiteit van Amsterdam, bezien 01.12.07.
  3. ^ Géza Révész, "Über die hervorragenden akustischen Eigenschaften und musikalischen Fähigkeiten des siebenjährigen Komponisten Erwin Nyiregyházy", in Bericht über den IV. Kongress für Experimentelle Psychologie, edited by Friedrich Schumann, 224–25 ([Germany]: Barth, 1911); Géza Révész, Erwin Nyiregyházy: Psychologische Analyse eines musikalisch hervorragenden Kindes (Leipzig: Verlag von Veit, 1916), English translation, as The Psychology of a Musical Prodigy, International Library of Psychology, Philosophy, and Scientific Method (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd.; New York, Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc., 1925), reprinted (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1970; New York: Blom, 1971; London: Routledge, 1999 ISBN 0415209706), [Whitefish, MT]: Kessinger Publishing, 2007 ISBN 1432588583).
  4. ^ Vittorio Busato (2006), Korte biografie van Révész II, Universiteit van Amsterdam, bezien 01.12.07.