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Dr. Irving and Diane Maltzman

1924 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Dr. Irving and Diane Maltzman Obituary
Dr. Irving Maltzman (May 9, 1924 - December 5, 2015)
Diane Maltzman (October 2, 1927 - October 27, 2016)

Diane Seiden and Irving Maltzman met in New York in the late 1940s. Irv was from East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and Diane was from Corona, Queens. They courted long-distance while Irv completed his doctorate in experimental psychology at the University of Iowa under K. Spence. Upon completing his degree in 1949, Diane and Irv married and moved to Culver City, CA, after Irv accepted an appointment in the UCLA Dept. of Psychology. Irv rose through the academic ranks and remained at UCLA for his entire professional career, retiring in 1994 as a Distinguished Professor. While chairing the Dept. (1970-1977), Irv established the Learning and Behavior program; he also promoted the recruitment of historically underrepresented students and students with financial need by establishing the Minority Undergraduate Research Program, now known as The UCLA Psychology Research Opportunity Programs (PROPS). Irv also contributed significantly to psychology as a field. In 1964, he traveled to the USSR as part of the first cultural exchange with Soviet psychologists and other scientists. Irv's experiences in the USSR prompted him to sponsor the emigration of several Jewish scientists so they could escape Soviet anti-Semitism and continue their research in the U.S. Based on his research on the orienting reflex and collaboration with Soviet scientists, Irv and M. Cole published A Handbook of Contemporary Soviet Psychology in 1969, introducing Soviet research to Western scientists.
Irv also contributed to the study of creativity in learning and, later in his career, published books and numerous papers on alcoholism, most notably a 1982 paper in Science with co-authors M. Pendry and L. J. West. Their paper detailed significant flaws in a study by Sobell & Sobell which had concluded that controlled drinking was a more successful treatment than abstinence for physically dependent alcoholics. The Science paper contradicted the Sobells' conclusions. This experience sparked Irv's subsequent intense interest in research ethics.
Diane was a brilliant student who received her M.A. in English from Syracuse University at age 22. In Culver City, Diane focused on raising their three children and participating in synagogue life. Once the children were grown, Diane worked for approximately 20 years as a valued teacher's aide in the El Rincon Elementary School ESL program.
Diane and Irv lived their Jewish values by supporting those who experienced oppression and discrimination. It also can be said that, although Irv left Brooklyn, Brooklyn never left Irv. He loved to regale family and friends with stories from the old neighborhood in his distinctive Brooklyn accent. Family, friends, and colleagues fondly remember rousing parties in the Maltzman home with Irv pounding out boogie woogie on the piano; scotch flowing; and laughter, lively debate, and discursion carrying on late into the night. Irv and Diane's love of family, art, music, and discussion made their home a center of celebration for many years.
Irving was predeceased by his parents Israel and Lillian Maltzman and brother Abraham. Diane was predeceased by her parents Harvey and Ida Seiden and brother William. They leave behind three children: Sara (David Golokow), Ken (Ing-Britt), and Ilaine; four grandchildren: Josina Manu, Matthew Greenstein, Corinna Kitchen, and Lena Maltzman; several great-grandchildren; nephew Carl Maltzman, and extended family.
May they rest knowing that our enduring love never faltered.
If desired, donations may be made in their memory to Temple Akiba (www.templeakiba.net) or to HIAS (www.hias.org) whose mission is to assist refugees, whoever or wherever they are.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Sept. 27 to Oct. 15, 2017
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