Herbert F. Crovitz Papers, 1960-1994

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Crovitz, Herbert F.

Crovitz was a research psychologist at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Durham, N.C.

Contains diaries, indices, manuscript materials and course materials. Diaries largely pertain to the scientific analysis of memory and thinking. Materials range in date from 1960 to 1994.

Collection ID:


Scope and content:

Journals have been numbered and dated by the author. They are ordered chronologically within boxes.

Biographical / historical:

Herbert F. Crovitz was born in 1932 in Providence, R.I. He received degrees from Clark University (Worcester, Ma.) (B.A., 1953 and M.A., 1954) and Duke University (Ph.D., 1960). Following graduation from Duke University, Crovitz worked as a postdoctoral trainee in physiological psychology with the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Durham, N.C. Crovitz continued work there as a research psychologist from 1961 to 1989. Crovitz' research focused on memory, recall, creativity aspects of mental activity. His work in 1974 contributed to the study of autobiographical memory through a test called the Galton-Crovitz test, named for the research work of both Francis Galton (1879) and Crovitz (1974). Dr. Crovitz has authored Galton's Walk; Methods for the Analysis of Thinking, Intelligence and Creativity (1970) and wrote his 1960 dissertation on eye movement. In a 1969 issue of Science, Crovitz wrote that he had "doggedly kept exhaustive notebooks as an aid to memory. In them is everything written down as it occurs: good ideas, bad ideas, plans for experiments, data from experiments, notes of what I read and what I think. Each entry is dated with the exact time of the entry. Recently I have analyzed the time course of entries in the notebooks. I am astonished to discover regularities. For example, over the modal time between entries holds at two minutes, half of all the entries are made within one hour of the previous entry, with about 1200 entries each year...Exact time notebooks permit a measurement of the scientific process through Fournier analysis..." Crovitz used his own writings for some of his research on memory patterns. Dr. Crovitz was a consulting editor for the Journal of Experiential Psychology: General and was elected as a fellow to the American Psychological Assocaition, Division 3 and The Psychonomic Society.

Acquisition information:
Gift; 2004.
Processing information:

Processed by Emily Glenn, January 2004 Encoded by Emily Glenn, December 2004

Physical location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Duke University Medical Center Library's online catalog.


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Personal Name(s):
Crovitz, Herbert F.
Corporate Name(s):
Durham VA Medical Center.
Topical Term(s):
Education, Medical.


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Terms of access:

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Herbert F. Crovitz papers, Medical Center Archives, Duke University.