Encyclopedia of the History of Psychological Theories

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert W. Rieber

Spearman, Charles Edward

  • Sandy Lovie
  • Pat Lovie
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0463-8_414

Charles Edward Spearman was born in London on September 10, 1863, as the third son of a minor aristocratic family. By his own admission (Spearman 1930), Charles was no academic high-flier, preferring sport to study, and so chose military service after leaving school in 1882. The next 12 years were spent mainly in India where Spearman served in several campaigns, played much polo and poker, but also became increasingly fascinated by philosophy (claimed as a boyhood interest) and by psychology, especially the scientific brand flourishing in Germany.

Spearman then returned to England to embark on an Army Staff College course for officers keen to further their military careers. But, after completing it in 1897, Spearman resigned his commission to study experimental psychology in Wundt’s Leipzig laboratory, whence he obtained a Ph.D. in 1906.

Although Spearman was recalled to military duty in 1900 during the Boer War, his two years away from Germany were by no means wasted. Not only did he...

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  1. Lovie, P., & Lovie, A. D. (1996). Charles Edward Spearman, F.R.S. (1863–1945). Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, 50, 75–81.Google Scholar
  2. Spearman, C. (1930). Autobiography. In C. Murchison (Ed.), A history of psychology in autobiography (Vol. 1, pp. 299–331). Worcester: Clark University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyLiverpool UniversityLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.School of Computing and MathematicsKeele UniversityKeeleUK