Who is Paul Lazarsfeld?

Who is Paul Lazarsfeld?

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

Paul Lazarsfeld, also known as Paul Felix Lazarsfeld, was an Austrian-born American sociologist who lived from February 13, 1901 to August 30, 1976. He is famous for his work on the impact of mass media on society.

Lazarsfeld was educated at the University of Vienna and received his doctorate in applied mathematics from the same school (1925). After studying mathematics, his interest turned to applied psychology and he founded a research institute for applied social psychology in Vienna (1929). He began working as a lecturer in applied psychology at the University of Vienna (1929–33).

A scholarship from the Rockefeller Foundation for psychological research enabled Lazarsfeld to come to the United States in 1933, where he received US citizenship after his studies.

He was director of the Office of Radio Research, a Rockefeller project at Princeton University (1937–40), and when the project was transferred to Columbia University (later renamed the Bureau of Applied Social Research) in 1940, he worked there as director of the bureau and lecturer in the university’s sociology department continued. Under his leadership (1940–50), the bureau became a well-known laboratory for empirical social studies.

Paul Lazarsfeld remained a professor at Columbia until 1970.

Paul Felix Lazarsfeld

Lazarsfeld touched upon a wide range of issues in his research. Chief among these was the use of statistical tools to determine the influence of radio and print media on Americans’ voting habits and preferences.

He has done extensive research on the impact of newspapers, magazines, radio and movies on society. As head of research for the broadcasting company CBS, he, along with his partners, psychologists Hadley Cantril and Frank Stanton, conducted particularly detailed studies of the radio listening habits of the American public.

Paul Lazarsfeld’s notable works include the textbook Radio and the Printed Page (1940; co-written with Cantril and Stanton), People’s Choice (1944), Voting (1954), and Introduction to Applied Sociology (1975).

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım