Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Meehl, Paul E. (1920–2003)
William T. Hoyt
Paul E. Meehl was an intellect and Renaissance man who made enduring contributions in a diverse array of subject areas in psychology and beyond. In psychology, he was best known for his work in measurement, philosophy of science, biological bases of schizophrenia, statistics, and actuarial approaches to assessment and prediction. He also published in areas as diverse as political science, extrasensory perception, psychology and law, and religion. Meehl was a relentless analyst, and his formidable critical faculties led him to some radical conclusions. His theory of schizotaxia (an inherited predisposition to schizophrenia-spectrum disorders) and his dislike of statistical significance tests as a basis for theoretical inferences have since gained wide acceptance. Other conclusions, such as his inclination to think that “there is something to telepathy” and his “skepticism about the received doctrine of organic evolution,” place him well outside the scientific mainstream and into the area of the “strictly Perhaps ...