Illustrated History

For quite a few years, my departmental research website consisted of just a few pictures and brief comments about several of my favorite research projects. (My thanks to Dr. Richard Coss for helping me get those pictures online.) As a contribution to the historical record, here is the total content of that early website, with a couple of small updates:

Fig1LeonardoFaceSelf-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci — or is it Leonardo’s portrait of his father? Nobody knows. Was Freud’s book on Leonardo a psychological portrait of Leonardo — or a self-portrait of Freud? See Chapter 3 of Alan Elms’s bookUncovering Lives (Oxford University Press, 1994) for some answers to that question.





Title page of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” first edition. See Chapter 10 of Elms, Uncovering Lives, for a psychological analysis of the creator of Oz, L. Frank Baum.





Obedience started here: Linsly-Chittenden Hall, Yale University. Here Stanley Milgram ran the classic studies of obedience to authority; Alan Elms was his research assistant. See the Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 51, No. 3, 1995, pp. 21-31 for Elms’s first-hand description of the early studies: “Obedience in Retrospect.”






Elms at Graceland. Alan Elms is writing a book-length psychobiography/psychohistory of Elvis and his fans, in collaboration with clinical psychologist Bruce Heller. A preliminary paper by Heller & Elms, “Elvis Presley: Character and Charisma,” was published inElvis + Marilyn: 2 x Immortal (ed. Geri DePaoli), Rizzoli International, 1994. More recently, Elms & Heller contributed a chapter on the psychology of Elvis’s frequent errors in performing the song, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”, to theHandbook of Psychobiography (ed. Wm. Todd Schultz), Oxford University Press, 2005.


Alan Elms, Ph.D.