Academic genealogy

Douglas D. Perkins (New York University, MA 1985, PhD, 1990)

↓→ undergraduate advisors @ Swarthmore College (1976-1980): Prof. of Philosophy Richard Schuldenfrei, Prof. of Psychology Kenneth J. Gergen; also studied with Anthropologist Steven Piker & Psychologist Barry Schwartz;

graduate advisor @ NYU (1981-1989): Prof. of Psychology Marybeth Shinn (University of Michigan, PhD, 1978) & Barbara J. Felton; also studied with Stanley Lehman, Edward Seidman, James Uleman, Jacob Cohen, Elazar Pedhazur, Edwin Schur & Aryeh Neier;

also mentored on dissertation by Abe Wandersman (S. Carolina), David Chavis, Paul Florin (Rhode Island) & Richard Rich (Va. Tech);

& in 1st academic job by Ralph B. Taylor @ Temple U. & in 2nd job by Barbara B. Brown @ U. of Utah)

& by coauthors Murray Levine (U. of Pennsylvania; now @ U. of Buffalo, Emeritus) & David V. Perkins (older brother; Indiana U., PhD, 1978; now @ Ball St. U.)

M. Shinn’s graduate advisor @ U. Michigan and rest of lineage:

Cary Cherniss (Yale University, PhD, 1972)

Seymour Sarason (Clark University, PhD, 1942)

Saul Rosenzweig (Harvard University, PhD, 1932)

Henry Murray (Columbia University, MD, 1919; University of Cambridge, PhD in Biochemistry, 1928; mentored informally by Carl Jung) & Gordon Allport (Harvard University, PhD, 1922)

(via Allport:) Herbert S. Langfeld (University of Berlin, PhD, 1909)

Carl Stumpf (University of Göttingen, PhD, 1868; also studied with Franz Brentano at University of Würzburg)

Hermann Lotze (University of Leipzig, PhD, MD, 1838)

Ernst Heinrich Weber (University of Leipzig, MD, 1815), Gustav Fechner (University of Leipzig, BA, 1819), Alfred Wilhelm Volkmann (University of Leipzig, PhD, 1826), & Christian Hermann Weisse (University of Leipzig, 1828)


For Rosenzweig, see

Allport’s dissertation readers were William McDougall and James Ford & his dissertation (“An Experimental Study of the Traits of Personality: With Special Reference to the Problem of Social Diagnosis “) submitted to Departments of Philosophy & Psychology and Social Ethics: Some sources say Allport studied with Hugo Münsterberg (Leipzig, PhD, 1885; Heidelberg, MD, 1887), but while older brother Floyd Allport (who was also an intellectual mentor & first coauthor for Gordon) may have worked with Munsterberg, Gordon prob. just took an undergrad course with him as HM died in 1916.  [Münsterberg’s mentor was Wilhelm Wundt (Heidelberg, MD, 1856; worked for Hermann von Helmholtz)]


Carl Stumpf chaired the dissertations of 3 of the 4 founders of Gestalt psychology – Wolfgang Kohler, Kurt Koffka, and Kurt Lewin.

Weber, Fechner, and Brentano are also huge names in the history of psychology – psychophysics, for the first two of them.  They began (like Helmholtz) studying physiology, but found there were phenomena of consciousness (like visual illusions) that anatomy and physiology alone just could not explain. (The Germans were obsessed with being able to explain everything they observed in terms of scientific principles.) Decades of work on sensory detection thresholds, etc., finally reached the point where Wundt proclaimed that this burgeoning field of “scientific philosophy” should have its own name – psychology. This is the work Steven Pinker referred to when he quoted William James as saying “the field of psychophysics proves that it’s impossible to bore a German.” (David V. Perkins)

Brentano was one of Sigmund Freud’s mentors.