William K. Estes

June 17th

Born June 17, 1919; died on August 17, 2011 at the age of 92.

William Kaye Estes was an American psychologist who was a leader in the introduction of mathematical methods into psychological research. In 1977 he was awarded the National Science Medal for “his fundamental theories of cognition and learning which transformed the field of experimental psychology.” His pioneering methods of quantitative modeling and his emphasis on rigor and precision set the standard of modern psychological science. During his early professional research, he partnered with another pioneering psychologist, BF Skinner, to study animal learning and behavior. Beginning in 1979, Estes focused on the study of human memory and classification learning.

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