His early development was strongly influenced by an uncle, also named Édouard Claparède, a noted naturalist. He received his B.S. in 1892 and his M.D. in 1897 at Geneva after a brief sojourn at Leipzig. He then spent a year in clinical and experimental work in neuropathology at Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris. In 1901 Claparède and another uncle, Théodor Flournoy, founded Archives de Psychologie, which Claparède edited until his death. In 1904 he became director of this uncle's psychological laboratory and succeeded Flournoy as professor in 1915. Claparède's earlier interests were varied; he worked on problems in experimental psychology (notably on sleep), clinical neurology, and animal psychology; his viewpoint was functional and biological. Later he centered his interests increasingly on the mental development of the child, and became a leader in establishing the scientific study of child psychology. His best known work, The Psychology of the Child (1905), has been translated into ten languages. In 1912 Claparède founded the J. J. Rousseau Institute for the scientific study of education. For many years he was secretary of the International Congresses of Psychology.