Saturday, February 27, 2010

What is Psychobiography?

So we have all heard of biographies and autobiographies but I was introduced to the term psychobiography.

William Todd Schultz has an entire site called Psychobiography. On this site you can discover what psychobiography is and is not, FAQs, influential persons, Schultz's publications, annual annotated bibliography, and supplemental links.

From Schultz's site, What is psychobiography?

Psychobiography is the analysis of historically significant lives through the use of psychological theory and research. Its aim is to understand persons, and to uncover the private motives behind public acts, whether those acts involve the making of art or the creation of scientific theories, or the adoption of political decisions. Some figures who have been the subject of a great number of psychobiographical books and articles include Hitler, Sylvia Plath, Freud, Jung, Gordon Allport, James Barrie, Gandhi, Luther, Marilyn Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, van Gogh, Clinton, Bush, and Saddam Hussein.

So have you read a psychobiography?

A Google Book search on psychobiography presented 1, 055 entries.
A search using Google Scholar on psychobiography produced 7,210 entries.

While this is not the type of qualitative research I will use during the dissertation process, it presents a term that I was not familiar with. Now I am looking for psychobiographies on Educational Technologists, any recommendations?

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