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A Funny Thing Happened to Us on the Way to the Latent Entities

WithPaul E. Meehl

I daresay some of you — especially those of my age group — were surprised to find the Bruno Klopfer award bestowed upon a notorious dustbowl empiricist whose modest claims to fame include a wicked book on actuarial prediction (Meehl, 1954) which I am currently struggling to up-date, and the advocacy of cookbook interpretation for the most widely used of structured personality inventories, the MMPI (Meehl, 1973d). I must confess that I was pretty surprised myself. But on reflection, I concluded that your outfit (which traces its ancestry to the old mim-eoed Rorschach Research Exchange) showed scholarly integrity and good taste. For the record, you can’t pin the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory on me, as I was an undergraduate during its development. The Minnesota lore is that McKinley wanted it, Hathaway built it, and Meehl sold it — not a bad summary of the situation! The eminent contributor for whom this award is named was known to me, although not well, because back in 1947, I went off first to Michael Reese to learn some Rorschach with Beck and followed it a couple of months later by going to Bard College where Klopfer was doing a workshop.