John R. P. French

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John R. P. French Jr. (7 August 1913 – 14 October 1995) was a Professor Emeritus in psychology from the University of Michigan. He may be best known for his collaboration with Bertram Raven on French & Raven's Five bases of Power in 1959.

Life and career[edit]

John French was born in Boston and graduated from Antioch College, Ohio, and Black Mountain College, North Carolina. In 1940 French received his doctorate from Harvard University, completing a dissertation on the cohesion of groups under distress. He became noted as an expert in social psychology and experimental research, especially in the application of Kurt Lewin's field theory to organizational and industrial settings.[1]

French published widely. He served as a program director at the Research Center for Group Dynamics in 1947, and as president of the Society of Psychological Study of Social Issues. He received the National Institute for Mental Health's Research Career Award and was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship.[2]

In 1937 French married Sophia L. Hunt and the couple had two children, Rebecca Kennedy and John R. P. French III. He died at Glacier Hills Nursing Center at the age of 82.


  1. ^ Dowding, Keith (2011). Encyclopedia of Power. 
  2. ^ Swanbrow, Diane (15 November 2006). "Psychology Prof. Emeritus John R. P. French Jr. died Oct. 14". Retrieved 2 August 2012. 

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