Cattell, James McKeen (1860-1944), an American psychologist, had widespread influence on the scientific community. He is remembered for his work in scientific publishing.
After graduating from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, Cattell spent two years in Germany, studying philosophy at the universities of Leipzig and Gttingen. In 1882, he won a fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. When his fellowship was not renewed the next year, Cattell returned to Leipzig, where he became the first American to receive a Ph.D. degree under German psychologist Wilhelm Wundt.
In 1886, Cattell went to St. Johns College, Cambridge, to study and lecture on experimental psychology. In December 1888, while in England, Cattell married Josephine Owen. The Cattells had seven children, who were educated at their home in Garrison, New York.
In 1889, the University of Pennsylvania, Cattell was appointed professor of psychology, the world's first such position. In 1891, as professor of psychology at Columbia University, he founded the first psychological laboratory in the United States. Cattell developed the order of merit, a rating scale for ascribing value to subjective perceptions, including the ranking of scientists. He also conducted research in reading, perception, and association and devised methods to improve the accuracy of mental tests, a term he coined in 1890.
Starting in 1894, Cattell owned and edited a number of prominent magazines, including Science, The Scientific Monthly, and The American Naturalist. His wife and later his children helped him with his editorial duties. He founded the American Psychological Association in 1892 and served as its president in 1895.
From 1913 to 1917, Cattell feuded with Columbia's president, and in October 1917, Cattell was fired. He sued the university for libel and was awarded an out-of-court settlement that helped finance the Psychological Corporation, a company he had formed to promote applied psychology.