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Donald T. Campbell

Donald T. Campbell (November 20 1916 - May 5, 1996) was an American social scientist. He is noted for his work in methodology. He coined the term "evolutionary epistemology" and developed a selectionist theory of human creativity. He made contributions in a wide range of disciplines like psychology, sociology, anthropology, biology and philosophy.

He taught at Lehigh University, which established the Donald T. Campbell Social Science Research Prizes. Prior to that he was on the faculty of Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University, 1979 - 1982, and Northwestern University from 1953 to 1979. He served as President of the American Psychological Association.

He had a as major focus throughout his career the study of false knowledge -- the biases and prejudices that poison everything from race relations to academic disciplines where those with vested interests in them perpetuate erroneous theories.

Dr. Campbell argued that the sophisticated use of many approaches, each with its own distinct but measurable flaws, was required to design reliable research projects. The paper he wrote with Donald W. Fiske to present this thesis, "Convergent and Discriminant Validation by the Multitrait-Multimethod Matrix," is one of the most frequently cited papers in the social science literature.

Dr. Campbell completed his undergraduate education at the University of California, Berkeley, where he and his younger sister, Fayette, graduated first and second in the class of 1939. After serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II, he earned his doctorate from University of California, Berkeley and subsequently served on the faculties at Ohio University and the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Lehigh University. Among his other honors, he received the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Contribution award, the Distinguished Contribution to Research in Education award from the American Educational Research Association, and honorary degrees from the Universities of Michigan, Florida, Chicago, and Southern California.

Preceded by:
Albert Bandura
Donald T. Campbell elected APA President
Succeeded by:
Wilbert J. Mckeachie

Selected works

  • 1965: Variation and selective retention in socio-cultural evolution. In Herbert R. Barringer, George I. Blanksten and Raymond W. Mack (Eds.), Social change in developing areas: A reinterpretation of evolutionary theory, pp. 19-49. Cambridge, Mass.: Schenkman.
  • 1966: "Experimentation and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Research" with Julian C. Stanley.
  • 1970: Natural selection as an epistemological model. In Raoul Naroll and Ronald Cohen (Eds.), A handbook of method in cultural anthropology, pp. 51-85. New York: National History Press.
  • 1972: "On the genetics of altruism and the counter-hedonic components in human culture". Journal of Social Issues 28 (3), 21-37.
  • 1974: 'Downward causation' in hierarchically organised biological systems. In Francisco Jose Ayala and Theodosius Dobzhansky (Eds.), Studies in the philosophy of biology: Reduction and related problems, pp. 179-186. London/Bastingstoke: Macmillan.
  • 1974: Unjustified variation and retention in scientific discovery. In Francisco Jose Ayala and Theodosius Dobzhansky (Eds.), Studies in the philosophy of biology: Reduction and related problems, pp. 141-161. London/Bastingstoke: Macmillan.
  • 1974: "Evolutionary Epistemology." In The philosophy of Karl R. Popper edited by P. A. Schilpp, 412-463. LaSalle, IL: Open Court.
  • 1975: "On the Conflicts between Biological and Social Evolution and between Psychology and Moral Tradition." American Psychologist 30: 1103-26.
  • 1979: "Quasi-Experimentation: Design and Analysis Issues for Field Settings" with Thomas D. Cook.
  • 1990: Levels of organization, downward causation, and the selection-theory approach to evolutionary epistemology. In G. Greenberg and E. Tobach (Eds.), Theories of the evolution of knowing, pp. 1-17. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • 1994: How individual and face-to-face group selection undermine firm selection in organizational evolution. In J.A.C. Baum and J.V. Singh (Eds.) Evolutionary dynamics of organizations, pp. 23-38. New York: Oxford University Press.

External links

fi:Donald T. Campbell

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