Frank A. Beach: Biography of this American psychologist

If we’re talking about behavioral endocrinology, many of us may not be sure exactly what it is. Well, this is the branch of science responsible for studying the effect of the neuroendocrine system on behavior.

The American ethologist Frank A. Beach (1911-1988), who was responsible for developing much of his fundamental research, through works such as “Patterns of sexual behavior” (1951) “, is one of the most important figures in this branch of science. , one of his most recognized works.

In this article we will look at one Frank A. Beach biography and we will review their most important contributions in this area of ​​knowledge.

    Frank A. Beach: Who was that?

    Frank Ambrose Beach (1911-1988) was an ethologist and psychobiologist of American origin, born April 13, 1911 in Emporia. (Kansas, USA) and died on June 15, 1988 at the age of 77.

    Because of his publications on the subject, many consider him to be the founder of Behavioral Endocrinology, a branch of endocrinology responsible for studying the neuroendocrine system, as well as its effects on behavior.

    For its part, etiology is a branch of knowledge born from two sciences, biology and experimental psychology, and which is responsible for studying animal behavior, Either in a state of freedom, in their natural environment, or in artificial laboratory conditions.

    relevant data

    Frank A. Beach is particularly known for his contributions in the field, not only of etiology, but also of psychobiology. In fact, he was one of the most outstanding figures of his generation in this second field of knowledge.

    Franc focused on the study of the sexual behavior of animals, but also other types of instinctive behavior (Maternal and paternal behavior or mating behavior, for example). This is why Frank is considered one of the founders of behavioral endocrinology, alongside William C. Young.

      Origin and academic background

      Frank A. Beah was the first of three children. Her parents were Frank Ambrose Beach and Bertha Robinson Beach. He started his psychology studies at Emporia. One of the figures who influenced was James B. Stroud. He graduated in 1932 and was awarded a fellowship in clinical psychology. He then did his thesis on color vision in rats.

      Once your research is complete, he got another scholarship, this time to the University of Chicago, where he started working with psychologist Harvey Carr. Frank A. Beach has worked with some very relevant personalities, of which we will be highlighting behavioral psychologist Karl Lashley.

      Frank later moved again, due to financial problems; this time he went to Kansas, specifically to the town of Yates Center, where he would work as a high school teacher. It was in Kansas that he met his wife, although it only lasted a short time.

      Passion for research

      Years later, in 1935, Frank A. Beach returned to the University of Chicago and completed his doctoral thesis; his theme was the role of the neoscort in the innate maternal behavior of rats.

      During these years he married Anna Beth Odenweller, his second wife. With her, he formed a family and had two children: Susan and Frank. Sadly, Anna died in 1971 and Frank remarried, this time to Noel Gaustad.

      In 1936 Frank began working (for a year) in the Cambridge laboratory of Karl Lashley, the behavioral psychologist he had previously met. Here he conducted research on sexual behavior in animals.

        professional career

        Particularly interested in animals, Frank A. Beach then left the more academic field (temporarily) and started working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York (USA), where he spent a total of ten years.

        Frank is particularly known for his contributions to a very specific area of ​​knowledge: endocrinology and animal neurology. More precisely, he made numerous contributions in connection with the influence of the neural and endocrine system on animal behavior.

        After completing his stay at the New York Museum, Frank began working at Yale University, returning to college. He stayed here for another ten years, studying, among other topics, the reproductive behavior of dogs.

        Between the 1950s and 1960s, he worked as a professor of psychology at several universities; that yes, without stopping to investigate. In 1978 Frank A. Beach became Professor Emeritus, and in 1986 he won the APA Award for Distinguished Teaching in Biopsychology.

        remarkable works

        One of Frank A. Beach’s most important and well-known works, besides being a classic in his field, is Patterns of sexual behavior. (1951), which he co-wrote with anthropologist Clellan S. Ford. Another of his notable works is Human Sexuality in Four Perspectives (1977).

        Beyond his two major works, there are also important publications and books by the author. Some of them are:

        • The educational seminar and the journal of genetic psychology (1937)
        • Hormones and Behavior: An Investigation of the Interrelation between Endocrine Secretions and Open Response Patterns (1948)
        • The Snark was an American psychologist Boojum (1950)
        • Effects of early experience on animal behavior, Bulletin psychologique (1954)
        • The essence of instinct, psychological review (1955)
        • Locks and Beagles, American psychologist (1969)

        Death and inheritance

        The great contribution that Frank A. Beach has made to the field of psychobiology, as well as to that of behavioral neuroendocrinology, is undeniable. Franc he has spent his entire life researching, teaching and learning.

        We see it through a sentence of his, which says, “Increasing knowledge, in itself, is a justifiable way to spend your life.”

        So, he focused his life on the study of behavior; in fact, another of his famous phrases speaks of it: “The problem of man today is not to understand and exploit his physical environment, but to understand and govern his own conduct.”

        The death of Frank A. Beach “surprised” him to work and actively, as it could not be otherwise, and is that his last days in a hospital bed were spent reading scientific literature. . He finally died on June 15, 1988, at the age of 77.

        Bibliographical references:

        • Bilbo, SD (2013). Frank A. Beach Prize: Programming Neuroendocrine Function for the Initial Experiment: A Critical Role for the Immune System. Hormones and Behavior, 63 (5): 684-691.
        • Dewsbery, Donald A. (2000) “Frank A. Beach, Master,” Portraits of Pioneers in Psychology, 4: 269-281.
        • Donald A. Dewberry (1998). Frank Ambrose Beach, 1911-1988: A Biographical Memory.
        • M Soto-Gamboa, F Bozinovic – Ecological and evolutionary physiology (F Bozinovic, ed.). (2003). Endocrinology and behavioral ecology: proximal mechanisms explaining behavioral patterns.

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