Prescott Lecky

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Prescott Lecky (1892–1941) was a lecturer of Psychology at Columbia University from 1924 to 1934. At a time when American psychology was dominated by behaviorism, he developed the concept of self-help as a method in psychotherapy of the self in the 1920s. His concepts influenced Maxwell Maltz in his writing of the classic self-help book, Psycho-Cybernetics. Lecky stressed the defense mechanism of resistance as an individual's method of regulating his self-concept.[1]

Lecky's self-consistency theory is that self-consistency is a primary motivating force in human behavior. Lecky's theory concerned the organization of ideas of the self and the self's overall need for a "master" motive that serves to maintain for the self a consistency in ideas. [2]Self-consistency theory remains relevant to contemporary personality and clinical psychologists.[3] He was well known as a psychologist and counseled John F. Kennedy when he was having trouble at Choate preparatory school.[4]

His students gathered together his ideas and posthumously published them as Self Consistency: a theory of personality in 1945.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ansbacher, Heinz L. (1981). "Prescott lecky's concept of resistance and his personality". Journal of Clinical Psychology. 37 (4): 791–5. doi:10.1002/1097-4679(198110)37:4<791::AID-JCLP2270370418>3.0.CO;2-3. 
  2. ^ Merenda, PF. "Similarities between Prescott Lecky's Theory of Self-Consistency and Carl Rogers' Self-Theory." Psychological Reports. 107.2 (2010): 647-58. Print.
  3. ^ Stevens, Michael J. (1992). "Prescott Lecky: Pioneer in consistency theory and cognitive therapy". Journal of Clinical Psychology. 48 (6): 807–11. doi:10.1002/1097-4679(199211)48:6<807::AID-JCLP2270480615>3.0.CO;2-C. PMID 1452769. 
  4. ^ O'Brian, Michael (2006). John F. Kennedy: A Biography. Macmillan. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-312-35745-0. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  5. ^ Self Consistency: a theory of personality. Shoe String Press. 1961. p. 275. [non-primary source needed] online version