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Geza Revesz

REVESZ, GEZA (1878–1955), psychologist. Born at Siofok in Hungary, Revesz qualified first in law and then studied psychology. At the University of Goettingen, he was influenced by both his teacher, Georg Elias Mueller, and by David *Katz, under whose influence he became a phenomenologist in his thinking and with whom he collaborated in a number of studies. In 1908 he went to the University of Budapest, and was appointed professor of experimental psychology. He also lectured to the staff of Budapest's military academy and is credited with being the first to give European military training a pedagogical basis by setting up psychological tests for use by the army instructors. With the rise of anti-democratic and antisemitic movements in Hungary during the 1920s, Revesz's professorship was threatened and he departed for Holland. From 1923 he lectured there in industrial psychology, and in 1932 he was appointed to the Municipal University of Amsterdam as professor of psychology and director of the psychological laboratory. In 1935 he founded the journal Acta Psychologica, and edited it until the Germans occupied Holland during World War II. Publication was resumed in 1950, and Revesz remained editor until his death.

His work encompassed varied fields. His early interest centered on visual perception, and later he concerned himself with the psychological aspects of music. He carried out tests on the sense of touch, and identified those elements of tactile perception that are not shared by the optic and acoustic senses. This research brought him in contact with blind persons, and Revesz, in part moved by sympathy, conducted studies on the personal life of the blind. He also devoted himself to understanding the basic differences between humans and animals, in which connection he produced his study on the origins of languages. Several of Revesz's books appeared in English, including: The Psychology of a Musical Prodigy (1925), Psychology and Art of the Blind (1950), The Origins and Prehistory of Language (1956), and The Human Hand (1958).


H. Pieron, in: American Journal of Psychology, 69 (1956), 139–41: H.C.J. Duijker in: Acta Psychologica, 11 (1955), 356–9.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.