chapter  15
3 Pages

Retrospection on a Career in Social Psychology

WithDavid M. Messick

I was born in Philadelphia and lived in a small suburb, Sharon Hill, until I was 4. We moved back to my dad’s home town of Seaford, Delaware, in 1941 and I lived there until I left to go to college at the University of Delaware in 1957. In our racially segregated high school (all the Black high school kids were bussed to the only “colored” high school in Sussex County in Georgetown). I was an above-average student, an above-average athlete (I was co-captain of our high school football team), and quite religious. When I was admitted to the University of Delaware, it was in the School of Engineering and my intent was to become an engineer. In my senior year of high school I changed my plans after deciding to enter the Methodist ministry. I changed to a psychology major, thinking this would be the better preparation for a lifetime of helping others. During my freshman year of college, I became disillusioned with religion and lost all faith in it. But I remained a psychology major.