Charles E. Osgood

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

November 20, 1916 - September 15, 1991

Scientific Discipline: Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Membership Type:
Emeritus (elected 1972)

Charles E. Osgood was a prominent social psychologist who made significant contributions to the field through his academic research and development of experimental techniques. Osgood is best known for his development of the semantic differential, which has been instrumental in the field of psychology for determining the attitudes and perceptions of a subject. This technique has also been employed in sociological studies to identify social tendencies or biases towards specifics concepts, and in linguistics to identify differences and similarities amongst a set of terms.
Osgood graduated from Dartmouth College in 1939 and earned his PhD from Yale University in 1945. After earning his doctorate, Osgood conducted psychological research for both the Air Force and the U.S. Navy. In 1949 Osgood joined the faculty of the University of Illinois and assumed directorship of the Center of Comparative Psycholinguistics from 1963 to 1982. Osgood was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was elected President of the Peace Science Society in 1976

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