About Dr. Graves...

(From Union College, September 1961)

Background on Professor Clare W. Graves

Professor of Psychology
Union College
Schenectady, N.Y.


Clare W. Graves, professor of psychology at Union College, is a specialist in the theory of personality and its application to industrial and medical problems. he has been a clinical psychologist and consultant for numerous governmental agencies, institutions and industries, including the criminal court of Cleveland, the Schenectady City Hospital, and Case Institute of Technology.

Dr. Graves earned a bachelor's degree from Union College in 1940 and returned to teach at his alma mater in 1948 as an associate professor. During his eight year absence he earned a master's and Ph.D. in psychology from Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where he also taught for three years. He was promoted to full professor at Union in 1956,

Dr. Graves is a member of a number of professional societies, among them the American Psychological Association, American Association of University Professors, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He is married to the former Marian Huff and the father of two children, Susan, 15, and Robert, 9.

[Some statements in the following obituary which appeared in the student newspaper do not reflect Dr. Graves' thinking or theory accurately, thus it is offered here as an historical document only.]

In Memoriam...     (from the Union College Concordy, January 16, 1986)

Dr. Clare W. Graves, professor of psychology emeritus and originator of the Level Theory of Personality, died Jan. 3 1986 at his home in Rexford, N.Y. He was 71.

Born in New Richmond, Ind. (Dec. 21, 1914), Prof. Graves graduated from Union in 1940 and received his master's degree and a Ph.D in psychology from Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He taught at Western Reserve before joining the Union faculty in 1948.

A specialist in the theory of personality and its applications to industrial and medical problems, Prof. Graves held that human behavior can be broken down into seven patterns, or levels of existence. His theory suggested that every person falls somewhere between level one, a human vegetable, and level seven, the highest form. First published in the Harvard Business Review in 1966, the theory attracted wide attention and Prof. Graves became the subject of numerous magazines and newspaper articles.

Prof. Graves, who retired in 1978, was a clinical psychologist and consultant for various government agencies and had many articles published in professional and general interest magazines. He was a member of Sigma Xi, the American Psychological Association, and the American Association of University Professors.

Survivors include his wife Marian, a son, Robert of Niskayama, N.Y., a daughter, Susan Friday of Gansevoort, N.Y.; a brother, Clyde of Albany, N.Y. and three grandchildren.


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