Obituary: Seymour Epstein, Professor Emeritus of Psychology

Seymour Epstein
Seymour Epstein

Seymour Epstein, 91, of Amherst, professor emeritus of psychology, died May 20.

Born July 15, 1924 in Brooklyn, N.Y., he served in the Army in France during World War II, then completed his bachelor's degree in psychology at Brooklyn College. He earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Wisconsin in 1953.

He was a professor of psychology at UMass Amherst from 1953 to 1997. His primary research interest, and greatest professional achievement, was developing a unified theory of personality. His theory is discussed in his book “Cognitive-Experiential Theory: An Integrative Theory of Personality.”

Other research interests were stress and coping, constructive thinking, and methods in personality research. He had more than 150 professional publications and authored two additional books, including “Constructive Thinking: The Key to Emotional Intelligence.”

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) supported his research for 44 consecutive years. His work was recognized through many awards, including the Clarke-Lecky Memorial National Award, four NIMH awards, and the Murray Award for contributions to personality psychology.

His wife, the former Alice Hopper, died in 2013. He leaves his two children, Lisa Epstein and her husband Tom Ginocchio of Brooklyn, New York, and Marty Epstein of Park City, Utah and Amherst.

Memorial donations can be made to the Kestrel Land Trust, P.O. Box 1016, Amherst 01004 or to Dakin Humane Society, P.O. Box 6307, Springfield 01101.

A memorial will be held at a future date.