Last month, the American Psychological Association held a vote in order to determine who the greatest psychologist of all time was. Voting stations were set up at universities all over the world, and psychologists were given the following candidates from which to choose:
What the APA did not predict, however, was that the majority of voters did not select one of the five fathers of psychology listed above. Instead, they used their ballot to write-in beloved author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell.
Gladwell garnered 92% of the vote and thus is now considered to be the greatest psychologist of all time.
“I’m so glad Malcolm won, he’s a better psychologist than any of those phonies on the ballot,” said Dr. Terrence Robarts, president of the American Psychological Association.
“In the same amount of time it has taken me to publish eight papers he has discovered hundreds of laws of human behaviour and disseminated that information to millions. The man is a psychology God.”
Gladwell himself was available to comment on his victory:
“I’m very touched,” he said, smiling gleefully. “I can’t say I didn’t expect this to happen, because us Davids have a way of beating the Goliaths.”
“The truth is that I’ve spent around 10,000 hours of my life doing psychology. And once you’ve spent that much time as a psychologist you reach a tipping point, after which all the thinking you do is really thinking without thinking.”
NOTES: Malcolm Gladwell is a journalist who has written a lot of bestselling books that lean heavily on social psychology. Social psychologists benefit from the level of attention his books have brought to their field, but they often criticize him for taking studies in very controlled situations and generalizing them to laws of human nature.