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Marie Jahoda

Marie Jahoda was a major figure in psychology for her work on the effects of unemployment on emotional well-being as well as the social impact of McCarthy-era blacklisting. Jahoda earned her doctorate from the University of Vienna in 1933 and co-wrote a book on the effects of unemployment in a small town, coming to the conclusion that work was intrinsic to a sense of self-worth and also provided social benefits such as position in the community and a structured schedule. Few copies of the book survived Nazi book burnings. In 1937 she fled Austria for London, then moved to the US in 1945, where she did significant work in social psychology, and in 1951 she co-wrote a major text on methodology, Research Methods in Social Relations. She also did studies for the American Jewish Committee on whether it was possible to overcome prejudice through persuasion, and later studied the effects of suppressing political dissent through loyalty oaths and blacklisting. In 1953 she was elected the first woman president of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. She returned to England in 1958 and taught at the University of Sussex from 1965 until her retirement in 1972.

Jahoda, Marie - still image [media]
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Born in Vienna in 1907, social psychologist Marie Jahoda faced the personal and professional challenge of being a Jewish woman in a place and at a time of rampant antisemitism. Most copies of the book reporting her first major research were burned because its authors were Jewish, and she was forced to flee Austria in 1937.

Institution: Lotte Bailyn

Date of Birth
January 26, 1907
Place of Birth
Date of Death
April 28, 2001

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Marie Jahoda." (Viewed on October 6, 2015) <>.


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