The origins of Psychology at the University of Aberdeen reach as far back as 1896, the year in which the Anderson Lectureship in Comparative Psychology was founded. The lectureship resulted from a bequest from Reverend William Anderson and was funded by the money left in his will.  A distinguished scholar was to be appointed to teach a course on relations between thought and language. George Frederick Stout held the first Anderson lectureship, followed by James Lewis McIntyre whose tenure saw the creation of the Psychology Department. Anderson Lectureship was elevated to the Anderson Chair in Psychology in 1946. An illustrious line of highly distinguished professors has held the post since, with the current chair being Professor Neil Macrae.

History of the School of Psychology at the University of Aberdeen is covered in more depth in the book “Psychology: The Aberdeen Connection”, D.G Boyle (1994).

The Anderson lecture is an annual public event organised by the School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen. The lecture is held in honour of the Anderson Chair in Psychology, which is the oldest such chair in the United Kingdom. Previous speakers include Professor Daniel Gilbert (Harvard), Professor Bruce Hood (Bristol), Professor Richard Wiseman (Hertfordshire) and Professor Nicky Clayton (Cambridge).