Psychologist James Cattell created a listing of 1000 most eminent individuals in 1894 based on length of encyclopedia entries and recurring frequency between sources. (Cattell 1000, n.d.).

Cattell’s procedure to identify the 1000 most eminent men was to use six encyclopedias--
2 English
2 French
1 German
1 American
In each he identified 2000 men in each that had the longest entries. A total of 6000 men were identified in this preliminary search. In the first round of selection 4400 names were eliminated because they did not appear in at least 3 of the encyclopedic references. Selecting the 1000 individuals whom had the largest average space further condensed the list. Cattell’s list was not just a random listing of 1000, rather a ranked listing of the 1000 most eminent men (Cattell, 1903, p. 360-362).


Cattell 1000. (n.d.). Retrieved November 26, 2012 from Hmolpedia: an Encyclopedia of human thermodynamics, Human Chemistry and Human Physics Wiki:

Cattell, J. (1903). A Statistical Study of Eminent Men. Popular Science Monthly. February 1903. Retrieved from,+%E2%80%9CA+Statistical+Study+of+Eminent+Men%E2%80%9D&hl=en&ei=9Iu2Tqn4BceW2gXo-MzMDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false.

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