William McDougall

British-born American Psychologist



  • Cambridge University
  • Oxford University
  • Gottingen


  • University of London
  • Oxford University
  • Harvard University
  • Duke University

Ideas and Interests

William McDougall is considered by some to have been the foremost psychologist of all English-speaking countries. He has contributed significantly to more branches and departments of psychology than anyone else writing in English. He is the exponent of hormic psychology, the central idea being that there is an end or purpose which goads us to action, without any real knowledge of its nature, and often without benefit or even thought of pleasure. Human progress can only be determined in terms of “horme” or “drive”. He theorized that human behavior is determined by both instinctive and intentional strivings. His chief difficulties lay in proving, or even explaining, interactionism in a physical world; his belief in free will; and his commitment to the theory of the transmission of acquired characteristics.


  • Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Body and Mind
  • Outline of Psychology
  • Outline of Abnormal Psychology

References: 18

Image Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine