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The reputation of Kenneth James William Craik

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date05/2013
JournalHistory of Psychology
Journal number2
Volume16
Number of pages19
Pages93-111
Early online date25/03/13
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Reputation is a familiar concept in everyday life and in a range of academic disciplines. There have been studies of its formation, its content, its management, its diffusion and much else besides. This article explores the reputation of the Cambridge psychologist Kenneth Craik (1914-1945). Having examined something of Craik’s life and work and the content of his reputation, it concentrates on the functions that Craik’s reputation has served, particularly for psychology and related disciplines. The major functions of that reputation are identified as being: a legitimation and confirmation of disciplinary boundaries and discontinuities in the period shortly after World War II; an exemplification of how to be a modern scientist and of the values to embrace; a reinforcement of science as having a national dimension; an affirmation of psychology as a science that can serve national needs, and a creation of shared identities through commemoration. The article concludes that studies of reputations can illuminate the contexts in which they emerge and the values they endorse.