Tag Archives: Center for the History of Psychology

I Am Psyched! Pop-Up Exhibit National Tour Starts Now!

The I Am Psyched! exhibit, first launched as part of the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum Day Live in 2016, is hitting the road! The pop-up exhibit will be at Howard University tomorrow through Thursday, February 23rd, in celebration of both Howard University’s 150th anniversary and the American Psychological Association’s 125th anniversary. Kick off events tomorrow February 21st will be followed by three live interviews on APA’s Facebook page starting at1:15 PM (ET):

1:15 PM – Drs. Jessica Henderson Daniel and Shari Miles-Cohen will discuss Dr. Henderson Daniel’s storied career and how she made history by being elected as the first African American woman to lead the Association.

1:45 PM – Drs. Nicole Monteiro and Carlota Ocampo will discuss their research, what inspired them to go into psychology, and words of wisdom for the next generation of women of color psychologists.

2:15 PM – The winner and runners-up of the “I am Psyched” student poster session competition will discuss their winning posters and what has inspired them to pursue careers in psychology.

The exhibit is a collaboration between the APA’ Public Interest Directorate’s Women’s Programs Office, the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology, and Psychology’s Feminist Voices. The exhibit is described as follows:

The I am Psyched! National Tour launches on Feb. 21, 2017 with a three-day installation at Howard University (HU) in Washington, D.C., celebrating both APA’s 125th anniversary and HU’s 150th anniversary. The opening includes remarks from APA President-elect Jessica Henderson Daniel, PhD, ABPP, and members of HU’s senior administration, followed by round tables of women psychologists discussing how they have used psychology to make positive social change. Bringing full circle the past, present and future of women of color in psychology, the program will conclude with the grand opening of the I am Psyched! at Howard University exhibit and a juried poster session of empirical research by or about women of color conducted by HU graduate students. APA and HU are grateful to the National Black Employees Association and our other funders for helping to defray the cost of this event.

The second stop on the national tour is Drexel University, in Philedelphia from Feb. 27 through March 10. Dorothy Charbonnier, PhD, chair of the department of psychology, will host an opening reception with Drexel University President John Anderson Fry and other high level administrators, trustees and donors in attendance.

The I Am Psyched! exhibit will also be making the following stops on its national tour:

Tour Dates
Howard University, Washington, D.C. Feb, 21-23, 2017
Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa. Feb, 27-March 10, 2017
St. John’s University, Queens, N.Y. March 14-17, 2017
Pace University, New York, N.Y. (tentative) March 20-21, 2017
University of Memphis, Memphis, Tenn. April 5-8, 2017
Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. April 28-30, 2017

Follow the full tour on Twitter with the hashtag 

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New 5 Minute History Lesson: “Ruth Howard”


The Cummings Center for the History of Psychology has released the second episode in its series 5 Minute History Lesson. The episode is discusses the life and work of psychologist Ruth Howard and features audio from a telephone interview with Howard by Even the Rat was White author Robert Guthrie. More details on the video can be found here. (The first episode in the series was on psychologist James V. McConnell.)

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Community Announcement: Cummings Center for the History of Psychology Expansion

The Center for the History of Psychology at The University of Akron, which houses the Archives of the History of American Psychology, a Museum of Psychology and hosts public chp_building_full_coloreducation and outreach programs, will be closing to all researchers from September 1, 2015 through September 1, 2016 to undergo major reconstruction.

Thanks to a $3.5 million dollar gift from Drs. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings, the renamed Cummings Center will include a substantial renovation of the museum, a new library and offices for visiting scholars, as well as an endowment for an associate director. Currently, the museum only displays a small fraction of the holdings that have been donated to the center, a situation which will be rectified through its expansion from 1,800 to 8,500 square feet.

We are highly anticipating these exciting developments! Also, if you have immediate need to access the Center’s materials for your research, be certain to do so during the summer before their temporary closure!

Find out more about the Center’s reconstruction plans and the Cummings’ donation here from the article on Ohio.com

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The Cummings Center: 5 Minute History Lesson

The Cummings Center for the History of Psychology has just released the first video in a new series 5 Minute History Lesson. Episode 1, featured above, explores the life and work of psychologist James V. McConnell. A second episode, on Ruth Howard Beckham, is scheduled for release this summer.

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Congrats Center for the History of Psychology!

A big congratulations to the Center for the History of Psychology, which has secured a donation of $3.5 million. With the gift the Center will now be known as the Drs. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology. The Cummings’s generosity comes in the wake of a previous donation of $1.5 million to the Center. With the funds the Cummings Center plans “to expand its museum and construct a dedicated research space and offices for visiting scholars and staff, as well as to fund an endowment to support a full-time associate director position.” 

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Slate: Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient

Slate Magazine has just published a piece on infamous brain damage survivor Phineas Gage. To tell the story of Gage and his continuing importance in the history of psychology the article draws heavily on the work of Malcolm Macmillan. As the Slate article recounts,

Most of us first encountered Gage in a neuroscience or psychology course, and the lesson of his story was both straightforward and stark: The frontal lobes house our highest faculties; they’re the essence of our humanity, the physical incarnation of our highest cognitive powers. So when Gage’s frontal lobes got pulped, he transformed from a clean-cut, virtuous foreman into a dirty, scary, sociopathic drifter. Simple as that. This story has had a huge influence on the scientific and popular understanding of the brain. Most uncomfortably, it implies that whenever people suffer grave damage to the frontal lobes—as soldiers might, or victims of strokes or Alzheimer’s disease—something essentially human can vanish.

Recent historical work, however, suggests that much of the canonical Gage story is hogwash, a mélange of scientific prejudice, artistic license, and outright fabrication. In truth each generation seems to remake Gage in its own image, and we know very few hard facts about his post-accident life and behavior. Some scientists now even argue that, far from turning toward the dark side, Gage recovered after his accident and resumed something like a normal life—a possibility that, if true, could transform our understanding of the brain’s ability to heal itself.

The full article can be read online here and Macmillan’s website on Gage can now be found hosted on the Center for the History of Psychology site.

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Milgram’s Obedience to Authority Experiment on Mysteries at the Museum

Stanley Milgram’s infamous obedience to authority experiments have made their way to the Travel Channel. The study appears – in highly dramatized form – in the February 6th episode of Mysteries at the Museum.  Helping describe the study is Cathy Faye, Assistant Director of the Center for the History of Psychology in Akron, Ohio. The simulated shock generator from Milgram’s experiment now resides in the Center’s Museum.

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New Center for the History of Psychology Online Exhibit: The IQ Zoo

The Center for the History of Psychology (CHP) has just released its first online exhibit. Dedicated to the IQ Zoo, the exhibit features rare video and photographs, as well as details of the Zoo’s exhibit plans, animals, and training methods.  As described on the exhibit site,

The IQ Zoo was an animal training facility and tourist attraction in Hot Springs, Arkansas developed by Keller and Marian Breland in 1955. The Brelands, both graduate students of psychologist B. F. Skinner, used principles of behaviorism to train chickens, rabbits, pigs, raccoons, groundhogs, deer, goats, and many other animals to perform simple acts based on the animals’ instinctual behaviors. The acts, which included traveling animal shows, were as diverse as the animals and ranged from “The Kissing Bunny” where a rabbit “kissed” his plastic girlfriend to “Casey at the Bat” where a chicken played a game of baseball on a miniature scale.

The IQ Zoo exhibit features items and information taken from the Animal Behavior Enterprises collection housed at the CHP. The full exhibit can be explored online here.

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In Memoriam, John Popplestone (1928-2013)

We here at AHP are saddened by the news of the passing of John Popplestone on September 15, 2013. Popplestone, along with his wife Marion McPherson White, founded the Archives of the History of Psychology in Akron, Ohio in 1965. He served as its original director until retiring in 1999. Popplestone has left behind one of the most pre-eminent collections dedicated to the history of psychology for many generations to come.

In his honour, the Center for the History of Psychology (which today encompasses the Archives), has recently posted a series of photographs from their founder’s past and we invite you to visit their site.

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History of Psychology and Science Communication

This is a special joint post, authored by Jacy Young, Filipe Degani and Rodrigo Miranda, and published simultaneously on both AHP and RIPeHP (Blog da Rede Iberoamericana de Pesquisadores em História da Psicologia).

It is undeniable that scientific communication has been heavily influenced by new information technologies (IT). A continuing phenomenon the world over is the success of ”science blogs”, which have thrived in the struggle for space within traditional science journalism.

Many examples science blogs and bloggers could be found at the 8th World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) held in Helsinki (Finland) last June, from the 24th to 28th. Approximately 800 participants from 80 countries attended the Conference and discussed the progress achieved by science blogs in the last several years. In the blog world, some standouts include figures like Ed Yong, who runs the blog Not Exactly Rocket Science, and Carl Zimmer, who is responsible for the The LoomPaul Krugman, who won the Nobel prize (Economics), regularly explores economic science in his blog The Conscience of a Liberal. These authors are also active on Twitter and Facebook, another set of ITs that are becoming popular tools of scientific communication.

In the History of Psychology (HoP) we can observe this same kind of effort at online science communication. For instance, the blog Advances in the History of Psychology (AHP) has been running since 2007. AHP began as an experiment in communicating news, notes, and resources relevant to the history of psychology to as broad an audience as possible. In recent years this mandate has seen AHP expand onto Facebook and Twitter.

Another example of psychology-specific history of science blogging is the largely Portuguese/Spanish language Rede Iberoamericana de Pesquisadores em História da Psicologia/Iberoamerican Network of Researchers on History of Psychology (RIPeHP) blog. The blog has been running since 2011 and it is associated with the RIPeHP, a group of  HoP researchers from different countries of Iberoamerica. RIPeHP is also active on Facebook and it is hoping to be onto Twitter soon.

Both blogs provide readers with information on many aspects on HoP, such as: new issues from scientific journals; call for papers; interviews; conferences; etc. This helps researchers from different parts of the world get new information about the field and can also contribute to bringing researchers together. These blogs also provide valuable resources for teachers of HoP, while also (hopefully) raising the profile of the field within the larger psychology and history of science communities.

There are other excellent related blogs, whose content is both more focused and more broad than just HoP. For instance, the Center for the History of Psychology (CHP) blog, highlights primary sources and interesting information about the archival collections of the CHP. They are also online on Facebook and Twitter. The blog H-madness focuses on the related field of the history of psychiatry, while the blog MindHacks explores developments in psychology more broadly and regularly features HoP content among its postings.

Other efforts at disseminating HoP have by passed blogs altogether, employing Facebook and Twitter as their primary means of communication. These include the Society for the History of Psychology (Division 26 of the American Psychological Association), which communicates primarily through its Facebook page, and Psychology’s Feminist Voices, a multi-media internet archive, which has both a Facebook and Twitter presence.

Maybe, in the next couples of years, we will see some psychology bloggers in conferences like the WCSJ, or scientific communication working groups at HoP meetings. In the meantime, keep reading!

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