George Katona Papers: 1929-1981
Summary Information
Title: George Katona Papers
Creator: Katona, George, 1901-
Dates: 1929-1981
Extent: 2 linear feet
Professor of economics and psychology, and research coordinator for the Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, at the University of Michigan. Research reports, addresses and speeches, miscellaneous correspondence, personal material, and photographs.
Call number: 85237 Aa 2
Language: The materials are in English.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
Home Page:
Finding aid prepared by: Bentley Historical Library staff

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was the gift of Katona family members (donor no. 6658) and came to the library in 1981-1982.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see:


Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

item, folder title, box no., George Katona Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


George Katona was born in Budapest, Hungary on November 6,1901. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Goettingen, Germany in 1921. For several years, first in Germany, then in the United States, Katona worked alternately as a psychologist, an economist, and as a journalist. After 1938 he began to integrate his diverse professional interests at the New School for Social Research, New York, the University of Chicago, and as an employee of the federal government in Washington. From 1946 until his retirement in 1972, Dr. Katona has been affiliated with the University of Michigan as Professor of Economics, Professor of Psychology, and Research Coordinator for the Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research. He founded and for many years directed the Surveys of Consumer Finances, and devised the Index of Consumer Sentiment.

Katona was a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, American Statistical Association and the American Economic Association. He has authored numerous articles and books, several of which have been translated into foreign languages. Katona summarized his theoretical approach and his findings in Psychological Economics (Elsevier, 1972). In 1977 the University of Amsterdam, Holland, awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Economic Sciences. In the same year the American Psychological Association bestowed on him its Distinguished Professional Contribution Award.

Throughout his career, Katona sought to study economic problems in terms of psychology. A pioneer in the field of consumer psychology and economic forecasting. Katona was described by some as the "dean of behavioral economics". He died in 1981 at the age of 79.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The George Katona Collection consists primarily of reports and speeches (in typewritten manuscript form) produced during his association with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, and with the United States Government. Also included are reviews of his published works, and reprints of those articles of his not listed in his bibliography. In addition, there is a small amount of correspondence concerning the relationship between the Institute for Social Research and various departments at the University of Michigan.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Social surveys -- Research.
  • Charitable organizations.
  • Photographs.
  • Katona, George, 1901-1981.
  • University of Michigan -- Faculty.
  • University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research.
  • Katona, George, 1901-1981.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Personal Papers [series]
Box   1  
Biographical and bibliographical materials


Box   1  
Correspondence 1929-1938


Box   1  
Correspondence 1961-1972


Box   1  
Correspondence 1979-1981


Box   1  
University of Michigan Memos 1965-1971


Box   1  
University of Michigan Memos 1972-1980


Box   1  
Institute for Social Research, Press Releases 1963-1981


Box   1  
Reviews of published works


Box   1  


Box   1  
Memorial Service July 1, 1981


Research Reports [series]
Box   1  
Psychological Implications of the Inflation Problem 1942


Box   1  
Report for the Division of Program Surveys, United States Department of Agriculture 1945


Reports for the Survey Research Center, University of Michigan
Box   1  
Four Families Discuss Their Financial Position 1948


Box   1  
Validity of Consumer Expectations 1949


Box   1  
Postwar Income Changes of Identical Consumer Units 1949


Box   1  
Die Erforschung Der Offentlichen Meinung 1950


Box   1  
Reports on Activities in Germany 1950, 1953


Box   1  
Comments on the Reports: "Consumer Survey Statistics" (Smithies Committee) and "Statistics on Saving" (Goldsmith Committee) 1955


Box   1  
Consumer Psychology: The Growth of a Movement 1961


Box   1  
Consumer Behavior in Our Changing Environment 1961


Box   1  
Advertising in a Mass Consumption Society 1964


Box   1  
Adaptive Theory of Consumer Behavior 1967


Box   1  
Consumer Savings: Preference for and Use of Savings Accounts 1968


Box   1  
The Impact of the Tax Surcharge of on Consumer Expenditures 1968


Box   1  
Installment Debt 1970


Box   1  
Aspirations and Economic Trends 1970


Box   1  
Social Statistics on Consumption and the Consumer 1970


Box   1  
Consumer Aspirations Influence the Economy 1970


Box   1  
Proposed Panel Analysis for Spring Publication 1970


Box   1  
Economic Behavior Program, 25th Anniversary Report 1970


Box   1  
Attitudes Toward Mutual Fund Shares 1970


Box   1  
Ownership and Purchases of Stocks and Mutual Fund Shares 1971


Box   1  
On Studies of Personal Savings 1971


Box   1  
Prospects for Personal Savings 1971


Box   1  
Violence Project 1971


Box   1  
Methodological Studies on Consumer Anticipation 1971


Box   1  
Product Quality: Economic and Psychological Considerations 1971


Box   1  
Theory of Expectations 1971


Box   1  
The Function of Advertising of Standardized Products 1972


Box   1  
Cognitive Processes in Social Learning 1972


Box   1  
Change in Long Range Attitudes 1972


Box   1  
Memorandum on the Consumer's Way of Understanding Food Ads and Price Advertising, 19719


Box   1  
Volatility of Consumer Attitudes 1976


Box   1  
Consumer Sentiment and Economic Trends 1977


Box   1  
Measures of Uncertainty 1977


Box   1  
Toward a Macro Psychology 1978


Box   1  
Fourier Charts 1977-1978


Box   1  
Survey Indications of Unfavorable Economic Trends 1978


Box   1  
Behavioral Science and Public Policy 1979


Box   1  
Middle Range Economic Trends 1980


Box   1  
Expectations in Economics 1981


Box   1  
Interdisciplinary Research 1981


Box   1  
Economic Psychology; Evaluation and Prospects 1981


Box   1  
Consumer Behavior in the Purchase of Durable Goods undated


Addresses and Speeches [series]
Box   1  
Consumer Investment and Business Investments 1960


Box   1  
Vienna Conference 1962


Box   1  
Statement for the Joint Economic Committee 1962


Box   1  
Strengthening the Behavioral Sciences 1962


Box   1  
Consumer Attitudes and Expectations 1968


Box   1  
Paper at Yale 1970


Box   1  
Measurement and Predictive Value of Attitudes and Expectations 1970


Box   1  
Economic Outlook Conference 1971


Box   1  
Boston Presentation 1972


Box   1  
Savings Bond Committee Conference 1973


Box   1  
Economic Indicators and Consumer Motivation 1974


Box   1  
Attitudes Towards Trust Companies 1976


Box   1  
Amsterdam Speech 1977


Box   1  
Dinner Speech 1977


Box   1  
American Economic Association Meeting 1977


Box   1  
CUNA-San Francisco Speech 1977


Box   1  
Finlay Carpenter Lecture University of Michigan 1978


Box   1  
Brooklyn College Speech "The Psychology of Inflation," 1980


Box   1  
CBS-TV, WBBM-TV research materials


Box   1  
University of Illinois Honorary Doctoral Speech 1981


Box   1  
Association of Business Economists undated


Box   1  
Consumer Durable Spending undated


Publications, clippings, etc [series]
Box   2  
Foreign Periodicals containing Dr. Katona's articles


Box   2  
Unpublished Manuscript Currency Warfare and Stabilization undated


Box   2  
Miscellaneous Newspaper clippings


Box   2  
Reprints of Periodical Articles not listed in his bibliographies


Box   2  
George Katona & A Emergencia Da Economia Psicologica Nos Estrados Unidos, Thesis by Luiza Branco Fernandes, Universidade De Sao Paulo 1979
Box   2  
The Investment Needs of Individuals, Corporate Planning Report, Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner, and Smith, Inc. 1970
Box   2  
The Founder's Symposium: The Institute for Social Research Honoring George Katona 1979
Box   2  
Parlin National Marketing Award
Box   2  

Photographs include portraits of George Katona and picture of his wife in March of Dimes publicity scene.