Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of the History of Psychological Theories

pp 961-963

Rotter, Julian B.

Julian B. Rotter (October 1916–) is a clinical psychologist, educator, and author, known for his theories in social and personality psychology, who was influential in establishing psychology as an independent field from medicine.

Basic Biography

Julian B. Rotter was born in October 1916 to a Jewish middle class family in Brooklyn, New York. Rotter’s family’s circumstances were comfortable until the Great Depression when his father’s stationary business failed. In high school Rotter started reading works by eminent psychologists Freud and Adler. In 1933 he entered Brooklyn College with a serious interest in psychology but chose to major in chemistry since it led to a more reliable source of income. However, Rotter still attended many psychology courses, some of which were offered by Solomon Asch. He started to attend lectures given by Viennese psychiatrist Alfred Adler at a medical school nearby, and later attended monthly meetings of the Society of Individual Psychology in ...

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