BAKAN, DAVID (1921–2004), U.S. psychologist. Born in New York, Bakan held several university positions from 1961, teaching at the University of Chicago, Ohio State, Harvard, and York University in Toronto, Canada. Bakan wrote on a wide range of topics including psychoanalysis, religion, philosophy, and research methodology, as well as child abuse. In his book Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition (1958) he attempted to trace the roots of early psychoanalytic concepts and methods in the Kabbalah, the Zohar, and talmudic interpretations. His Duality of Human Existence: An Essay on Psychology and Religion (1966) made important contributions to the history of psychology, especially in relation to the problem of introspection, research methodology, and the psychology of religion.
Other books by Bakan include On Method: Toward a Reconstruction of Psychological Investigation (1967); Disease, Pain, and Sacrifice: Toward a Psychology of Suffering (1968); Slaughter of the Innocents: A Study of the Battered Child Phenomenon (1971); And They Took Themselves Wives: The Emergence of Patriarchy in Western Civilization (1979); and Maimonides on Prophecy (1991).
Professor emeritus in York University's Department of Psychology, Bakan retired from teaching in 1991.