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McCormick, Ernest J. (Ernest James)



  • Existence: 1911-08-22 - 1990-02-09

Biographical Information

Ernest J. McCormick was born in Indianapolis on August 22, 1911, but grew up in Ohio, where he received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1933. Before coming to Purdue University in 1946 to pursue his graduate education in industrial psychology, he had worked with the U.S. Employment Services, the Bureau of the Census, and the Selective Service System. As chief of the planning unit, job analysis and information section, he laid the groundwork for a job classification and coding system for federal agencies, which later evolved into the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1945, becoming a lieutenant commander before he retired due to illness. Within three years at Purdue (1946 to 1948), he received his master’s degree and his Ph.D., upon which he joined the faculty ranks at Purdue until his retirement in 1977. During his three decades at Purdue, McCormick wrote more than 200 major articles and book chapters on job analysis, classification and evaluation. As a respected mentor in the field, he has advised more than 120 graduate students, many of whom have become renowned members in the area of industrial and organizational psychology. While at Purdue, he taught Purdue’s first engineering psychology course, which eventually led to the publication of "Human Engineering" in 1957. The seventh edition of this book, now entitled "Human Factors in Engineering and Design," was published in 1993 and is available in multiple languages. Awards in McCormick’s honor have been established in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Purdue University and at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). Alumni who studied with Ernest McCormick and the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University established the Ernest J. McCormick Fund to endow a lectureship in his memory.


Jeanneret, P. Richard. “In Memory of Ernest J. McCormick (1911-1990).” Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Web. 18 September 2017. />.


Koppes, Laura. “Ideals of Science: Persons Behind the SIOP Awards.” Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Web. 18 September 2017. / >

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Ernest McCormick papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 508
Scope and Contents The Ernest J. McCormick papers document the life and career of Professor Emeritus and President of PAQ Services Ernest J. McCormick. The majority of the papers date from 1945 to the late 1980s. The McCormick papers document McCormick’s private life and professional career, particularly his professional activities during his tenure at Purdue University. Some personal papers are included, which document McCormick’s academic background, books from his personal library as a child, and materials...
Dates: 1870 - 1994; Majority of material found within 1945 - 1988