Confessions of a Marginal Psychologist

  • Kurt Danziger
Part of the Path in Psychology book series (PATH)


My formal introduction to the discipline of psychology was the result not of hopeful enthusiasm, but of purely pragmatic calculation. In 1945, I was a dedicated student of chemistry at the University of Cape Town in what was then the British Dominion of South Africa. I was set on a career as a research scientist that would require further years of study in my chosen field. As the child of parents who had arrived in the country as penniless refugees from Nazi Germany not many years before, I was, however, dependent on scholarship money to continue my scientific training. But scholarship money, at that time and place, was extremely scarce. Only those with the very highest grades had any hope of qualifying. I had been the class medalist in chemistry, but I was now about to prepare for specialization in biochemistry and wanted to minimize demands from other courses that I regarded as mere distractions from my main task. So I asked around about any “soft options” of which I might avail myself. The consensus among my fellow students was quite clear: Psychology was unquestionably the softest of the soft options on offer. And so I enrolled in the introductory psychology course with every intention of keeping my acquaintance with the subject brief and uninvolved.


Social Identity Social Consciousness Psychological Science Solitary Confinement Modern Psychology 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kurt Danziger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, York UniversityCanada

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