Gunnar Borg, PhD, MD h.c. (1927-2020), professor emeritus of Perception and Psychophysics at Stockholm University.
He introduced the field of perceived exertion in the 1960s, and has won international renown for developing methods for measuring intensity of experience. The most well-known of his scales is the “Borg RPE Scale®”, or “Borg Scale” (as it first was called in the USA). The ”Borg CR Scale®” is a different scale. It combines the richness of words with the exactness of numbers. It is, thus, the first scale constructed as a ”level anchored ratio scale”. The fields of applications are wide ranging, including determinations of subjective somatic symptoms, and most kinds of ordinary perceptions and emotions. Borg’s educational background includes psychology, philosophy, education, and physiology. He was Associate Professor at the Medical School in Umeå, Sweden, from 1966 to 1967 and head of a unit for clinical psychology at the University hospital. During 1967 to 1968 he was also dean of the Graduate School of Social Work and Public Administration in Umeå. From 1968 to 1980, he was director of the Institute of Applied Psychology, Stockholm University, and appointed professor. In 1987, he filled a newly created chair in Perception and Psychophysics at the Department of Psychology, Stockholm University. Since psychophysics is not a common word easy to understand Borg has introduced the word “Perceptometry” as a synonym. He has been, on several occasions, visiting professor in the US. Gunnar Borg is the author of more than 250 scientific publications. He has organized and chaired many international symposia and has lectured worldwide. Borg has collaborated extensively with colleagues in the US and Canada, Europe, Japan, and Brazil. Borg received the 1998 Award from The International Association for Applied Psychology, ”for exceptional contributions to the advancement of the science of psychology internationally”. In 1998, he was also honored with the Award for scientific contributions and applications in ergonomy by the Nordic Ergonomic Society. During the 27th International Congress of Psychology, 2000, Borg was honored with a special symposium: “The Gunnar Borg Symposium on Psychophysical Scaling”. The same year, Borg was elected “Honorary Member” of the Swedish Society for Lung Medicine, and also honored by the Swedish Society of Sports Medicine. In 2002 Borg was given a special Prize in Sport Sciences to a Swedish scientist. During the autumn 2005 he gave a key-note lecture for the British Assoc. for Cardiac Rehab., a seminar for lung-doctors in London, an honorary lecture during the annual Swedish congress in medicine. 2006 a key-note presentation for Danish lung-doctors and 2007 a lecture for professors, doctor and master students in Vilnius, Lithuania for the Int. School for Advanced Methods in Biophysics. In 2008 Borg was elected “Honorary Member” of the Swedish Society of Sports Medicine and 2009 honorary doctor in medicine, MD honoris causa. He is one of the most cited Swedish scientist all categories. Borg is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and several international associations.
The use of a “Borg Scale” is recommended by many societies, e.g. American Heart Association, American College of Sports Medicine, American Thoracic Society, British Association for Cardiac Rehabilitation, International Ergonomic Association and several European Societies.
Elisabet Borg, PhD, is a much appreciated lecturer in research methods and statistics at the Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, and has written a Swedish textbook in statistics praised for its clarity. She has worked scientifically together with her farther on several research problems, especially on developing the CR100 (centiMax) scale®. Her work has included symptoms evaluation of perceived exertion as well as psychophysical scaling of taste, loudness, perceived exertion, and emotions. She has lectured on several international conferences, and was one of the organizers of the Fechner Day 2003 conference of the ISP.