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Walter Dill Scott (1867-1955)
Transcript of Walter Dill Scott (1867-1955)
The Early Life of Walter Dill Scott
Born to a Farmer outside Normal, Illinois in 1869
Trained under Wundt in 1900 in the way of applied psychology.
Raised over $70 million for Northwestern and oversaw the creation of a Chicago campus
As a kid, he developed an interest for efficiency and wanted to do missionary work abroad.
After lots of hard work and many jobs, he was able to afford tuition to Normal University in 1888.
He was able to transfer to Northwestern University on scholarship in 1891, and graduated in 1895.
No positions available after graduating from Seminary school, in 1898, he went to Germany with his wife.
Studied with Wilhelm Wundt at Leipzig and graduated in 1900 with a Ph.D. in Psychology
Life as a Psychologist
Once he received his doctorate, he returned to the United States and began lecturing at Northwestern. He also started doing advertising.
He wrote his books on the psychology of advertising in 1903 and 1908 while teaching Applied Psychology at the Northwestern School of Commerce. He wrote his third book in 1911.
In 1916, Scott took a leave of absence from Northwestern to serve as the director of the Bureau of Salesmanship at the Carnegie Institute of Technology until 1918.
In these years, he also consulted for the Army and provided them with effective tests to select personnel and promote officers.
In 1919, he was elected President of the APA and then founded the Scott Company Engineers and Consultants in Industrial Personnel, his consulting firm to private businesses.
From 1920 to 1939, Scott was asked to come back and serve as President of Northwestern University.
After departing from his position as president, Scott lived a quiet life with his wife until 1955.
He came back to the United states as the applied movement was gaining heavy momentum.
His work in advertising coincided nicely with the advertising movement.
This is the movement proceeded the market revolution which ended in 1903.
Led to the inevitable rise of the consumer culture after 1920.
World War I was able to utilize the tests and methods of personnel selection and placement.
Considered one of the four major founders of Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Applied selection research in the armed forces at Fort Myer as well as predictive tests for promotion of officers
The foundations would not have had such credible and effective research if not for Scott
One of the four major founders of I/O Psychology
Distinguished Service Metal and the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army
President of the APA in 1919.
His three, critically important books.
The Theory of Advertising; A Simple Exposition of the Principles of Psychology in Their Relation to Successful Advertising (1903)
The Psychology of Advertising (1908, Revised in 1917)
Increasing Human Efficiency in Business - A contribution to the psychology of business (1911)
Scott Company, the first major (I/O) Consulting Firm (1920)
Revolutionized advertising with the laws of suggestibility based on three factors.
...and in Advertising
Consumers are irrational
Personnel Office of Northwestern (1926)
Office that provided counseling in education, selection, and placement of students.
So successful that other universities quickly adopted a system just like it.
Cross of the Legion of Honor for outstanding service in education by the French government (1933)
Goethe Plaque in recognition of his special contribution to arts and culture by the German government (1933).
The Theory of Advertising...
The Psychology of Advertising
Founded the practice of using psychologists to provide consultation to private businesses via consulting firms.
"Scott had the vision, administrative skill, and scientific stature to pull it off" (Landy, 1997).
Increasing Human Efficiency in Business - A contribution to the psychology of business
Private sector consulting at the Scott Company