Taft, Ronald.Variant names
Ronald Taft was born June 3, 1920 in Melbourne, Australia. He received his BA from Melbourne University in 1939 and his MA in psychology from Columbia University in 1941. He worked as an industrial psychologist for the Australian Department of Aircraft Production from 1942-1944 and later as a consultant for the Australian Institute of Management from 1945-1948 before earning his doctoral degree in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1950.
Taft accepted his first full-time academic position at the University of Western Australia as a senior lecturer in psychology from 1951 until 1956. Taft accepted a position as a reader of psychology at Western Australia in 1957 and held that position until 1965. Taft later worked as a reader of psychology at the University of Melbourne (1966-1968) and as a professor of social psychology at Monash University from 1968 until his retirement in1981.
Taft conducted research in personality and assessment as well as social and cultural psychology. He is best known for his work regarding psychology and ethnicity and immigration which he began to research in the 1950s and continued for over 30 years. Taft worked to promote psychology as both a discipline and a profession and served in numerous organizations around the globe. He was a founding member of the Australian Branch of the British Psychological Society in 1944 and served as the organization's chairman from 1962-1963. He was also a founding member of the independent Australian Psychological Society in 1966 and served various roles within the organization including Chairman of the Membership and Publications Committees, Chair of the Course Accreditation Committee, and a member of the Archives Committee.
During the 1980s Taft represented Australia in several international psychological organizations serving as president of the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology. He was active in the International Association of Applied Psychology where he served on several executive committees. He also served as the foundation chair of the National Committee for Psychology in the Australian Academy of Science, and he was a member of the International Union of Psychological Science. Taft became a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 1964 and later a fellow of the American Psychological Society. He was awarded the Silver Medal by the Royal Society of Victoria in 1976 for his contributions to scientific research.
From the guide to the Ronald Taft papers, 1946-2005, (Center for the History of Psychology)
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