Jean Macfarlane

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Jean Walker Macfarlane (1894–1989) was an American psychologist. She was born in Selma, California.[1] In 1922 she earned a doctoral degree in psychology at Berkeley; she was the second person ever to do so, the first being Olga Bridgman in 1915.[2][3] In 1927 Macfarlane founded Berkeley's Institute of Human Development, originally called the Institute of Child Welfare.[3]

In 1928 Macfarlane began a lifelong study of 250 individuals born that year and the next year that still continues, known as the Guidance Study, which provides information on normal personalities; previously psychological theories were mostly based on information about abnormal personalities.[1] She was a professor at Berkeley from 1929 until 1961.[1]

In 1963 Macfarlane received the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished contributions to the Science and Profession of Clinical Psychology.[1] In 1972 she won The G. Stanley Hall Award for Distinguished Contribution to Developmental Psychology, along with Margaret Harlow and Harry Harlow.[4] It is the American Psychological Association's highest honor in developmental psychology.[3]

Macfarlane was president of the California State Psychological Association and of the Western Psychological Association, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association and president of its Division of Clinical Psychology.[1]

During her undergraduate career, Macfarlane became a close friend of Theodora Kroeber, and her passion for psychology influenced Kroeber's decision to major in that discipline.[5] Betty Friedan thanked her in her book The Feminine Mystique.


  1. ^ a b c d e University of California: In Memoriam, 1989
  2. ^ University of California History Digital Archives
  3. ^ a b c Jean Macfarlane, 95, Psychology Professor - New York Times
  4. ^ APA Division 7 Developmental Psychology
  5. ^ Buzaljko, Grace Wilson (1989). "Theodora Kracaw Kroeber". In Ute Gacs; Aisha Khan; Jerrie McIntyre; Ruth Weinberg. Women Anthropologists: Selected Biographies (Reprint ed.). Urbana: University of Illinois Press. pp. 187–188. ISBN 0-252-06084-9.