Holzman, Philip Seidman 1922-2004

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HOLZMAN, Philip Seidman 1922-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born May 2, 1922, in New York, NY; died of a stroke June 1, 2004, in Boston, MA. Psychologist, educator, and author. Holzman was renowned for his groundbreaking research on schizophrenia. Completing his undergraduate work at City College in 1943, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II and returned home to complete his Ph.D. at the University of Kansas in 1952. By then, he had already been working at the prestigious Menninger Foundation as a psychoanalyst and psychologist. He would remain at the foundation until 1968, when he took to the classroom as a professor at the University of Chicago. At the same time, he worked at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis as a training and supervising psychoanalyst. Holzman left Chicago for Harvard in 1977, where he founded and directed the McLean Hospital Psychology Research Laboratory, remaining at the university until he retired as professor emeritus in 1982, but directing the Harvard-affiliated laboratory until his death. His successful academic career notwithstanding, Holzman was most frequently lauded as a researcher who specialized in the study of patients with schizophrenia. He is credited with making a number of discoveries in this area, such as that schizophrenics appear to have problems with short-term memory, have difficulty following moving objects with their eyes, and can misuse words in ways that can be labeled characteristic of people with this mental disorder. Holzman further discovered that family members of schizophrenics can display these characteristics without having the illness. More recently he was at the forefront of studying possible genetic causes for schizophrenia. Holzman, who received a lifetime achievement award from the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research in 1997 and the Alexander Gralnick research award from the American Psychological Foundation in 2001, was the author or coauthor of a number of books on psychology, including Psychoanalysis and Psychopathology (1970), Psychology versus Metapsychology (1976), and Assessing Schizophrenic Thinking: A Clinical and Research Instrument for Measuring Thought Disorder (1979). A former president of the Society for Research in Psychopathology, he was also named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1979, was active in numerous other organizations, and served on the board of editors of such journals as Contemporary Psychology and the Journal for Psychiatric Research.



Chicago Tribune, August 9, 2004, section 1, p. 11.

New York Times, August 8, 2004, p. A27.