Professor Noll earned his M.A. in General Psychology and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (1992) from the New School for Social Research in New York City. His dissertation was an experimental study of the cognitive style differences between paranoid and non-paranoid schizophrenics. The subjects for his experiment were recruited from Ancora Psychiatric Hospital in Hammonton, New Jersey, where he served as a Psychology Intern and Staff Psychologist between 1984 and 1988. It was during this time that his daily contact with persons with schizophrenia and other major psychotic disorders sparked his lifelong scientific and historical interests in these psychiatric syndromes.
In 1979 he earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Arizona, two years after graduating from Brophy College Preparatory, a Jesuit high school in Phoenix, Arizona. While an undergraduate he spent a semester at the United Nations in New York City in a special honors program offered by the National Collegiate Honors Council.
Before coming to DeSales University in August 2000, for four years he taught and conducted research at Harvard University with appointments as a postdoctoral fellow and as a Lecturer in the History of Science. Concurrent with his Harvard appointment during the 1995-1996 academic year, Professor Noll was also appointed a visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Resident Fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at MIT.
Professor Noll is the author of eight scholarly books and dozens of articles published in prominent academic journals in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, the history of psychiatry, and the history of science. Several of these works have been, or are in the process of being, translated into thirteen foreign languages by publishers in Europe, Asia and South America.
In 1994 the Association of American Publishers awarded his book, The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement (Princeton University Press, 1994), with the honor of being the Best Book in Psychology published in the United States in that year. Following this award, the editors of Princeton University Press decided to submit The Jung Cult to the competition for the Pulitzer Prize (but, alas, it did not place, let alone win). While not the definitive book on the Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), The Jung Cult is generally recognized as a turning point in Jung scholarship. It continues to offer scholars a new paradigm from which to generate new questions and new research on Jung. The academic response to Professor Noll and his book was the subject of a very favorable front page article in The New York Times on Saturday, 3 June 1995. In subsequent days the story found its way into newspapers across the world, often on the front page, in cities such as London, Frankfurt, Sao Paulo, Stockholm, and others.
In 1997, Professor Noll was interviewed by Terry Gross on National Public Radio's Fresh Air. In 2001 NPR listed that broadcast on its website as among the top ten most requested tapes and transcripts in the long history of that radio show.
In addition to research and writing on a variety of topics in anthropology, psychiatry, psychology, the history of psychiatry, Professor Noll has lectured on these subjects in fifteen foreign countries on six continents. He is hoping someone will invite him to speak in Antarctica . . . .
In 1994 he conducted three months of anthropological fieldwork in the People's Republic of China with an anthropologist colleague from Ohio State University, Shi Kun. Together they studied the last surviving Tungus (Siberian) shamans among the Oroqen and Ewenki peoples of Manchuria and Inner Mongolia. The photo above is of Chuonnasuan (Meng Jin Fu), the last shaman of the Oroqen peoples who live along the Amur River, just across the water from Russian Siberia.
Currently he is finishing a book on the history of dementia praecox and schizophrenia in early 20th-century America, The Rise and Fall of Dementia Praecox, to be published by Harvard University Press in 2009.
Courses Taught at DeSales University
- Introduction to Psychology
- Behavioral Genetics
- Evolutionary Psychology
- The Unseen Reality: The Psychology of Spiritual Experience
- Mind, Medicine and Madness
- Child Psychopathology
- The history of psychiatry and medicine, particularly those topics relating to dementia praecox or schizophrenia
- Psychopathology, particularly psychotic disorders and the dissociative disorders
- Religious experience, particularly the cross-cultural and cross-temporal technologies for inducing "mystical" experiences at will that mimic commonly reported spontaneous experiences of this nature
- Evolutionary psychology
- Evolutionary biology, particularly 19th century non-Darwinian theories