Tag Archives: James McKeen Cattell

New JHBS: Cattell at Johns Hopkins, A Tribute to Franz Samelson, & More

The Winter 2016 issue of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences is now online. Included in this issue are articles exploring James McKeen Cattell’s time at Johns Hopkins, the early 20th century classification of “defective delinquent” girls, and the various versions of the Weber Thesis in the social sciences. The issue also includes a special section, organized by Ben Harris, which pays tribute to the late historian of psychology Franz Samelson (right). Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“LAUNCHING A CAREER IN PSYCHOLOGY WITH ACHIEVEMENT AND ARROGANCE: JAMES McKEEN CATTELL AT THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, 1882–1883,” by Michael M. Sokal. The abstract reads,

The scientific career of eminent experimentalist and psychological tester James McKeen Cattell (1860–1944) began at the Johns Hopkins University during the year (1882–1883) he held the university’s Fellowship in Philosophy. This article opens by sketching the scope of Cattell’s lifetime achievement and then briefly reviews the historical attention that his life and career has attracted during the past few decades. It then outlines the origins and evolution of Cattell’s “scientific ideology,” traces the course of events that led to his fellowship, reviews his earliest studies at Johns Hopkins, and analyzes in some detail his initial laboratory successes. These laid the groundwork for his later distinguished work as a psychological experimentalist, both in Europe and America. It concludes, however, that even as Cattell’s early experimental achievements impressed others, the personal arrogance he exhibited during his year in Baltimore served to alienate him from his colleagues and teachers. Over the long run, this arrogance and his often-antagonistic approach to others continued to color (and even shape) his otherwise distinguished more than 50-year scientific career.

““SAFEGUARDING THE INTERESTS OF THE STATE” FROM DEFECTIVE DELINQUENT GIRLS,” by Kate E. Sohasky. The abstract reads, Continue reading New JHBS: Cattell at Johns Hopkins, A Tribute to Franz Samelson, & More

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New Issue: History of Psychology

The February 2011 issue of History of Psychology, the official journal of the Society for the History of Psychology (Division 26 of the American Psychological Association), has just been released online. Included in this issue are article on the use of the term “socialization,” psychology and pedagogy in late-nineteenth century French medicine, the historical experience of trauma, and a look at the use of unique historical sources in describing the academic freedom controversy surrounding James McKeen Cattell’s departure from Columbia University. Also in this issue, is a note challenging the recent proposal that John Watson and Rosalie Raynor’s research subject Little Albert was in fact Douglas Merritte, the son of a wet nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“The evolving vocabulary of the social sciences: The case of ‘socialization’,” by Jill G. Morawski and Jenna St. Martin. The abstract reads,

While the term “socialization” stands as a common and clearly understood term regularly used in social science and lay conversations alike, its history is complex. In the 19th century, socialization was introduced to refer to societal activities or projects, and only in the early 20th century did it gain usage as a term describing psychological processes transpiring within the individual. The architecture of the newer meaning harbored ambitions and problems of modern social science, including ideals of interdisciplinary theory and theoretic resolution of the individual/society dualism. Nevertheless, socialization became a central object of social scientific inquiry after World War II. This significant social scientific object was repeatedly altered: initially representing a vision of conforming citizens who were free from certain troubling characteristics depicted in psychoanalysis and well-suited to democracy, it later was engaged to create a vision of autonomous, resilient, and cognitively active actors able to negotiate a complex social world. Continue reading New Issue: History of Psychology

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Raccoons & Scientific Biography

The September 2010 issues of The British Journal for the History of Science and Isis each contain an article on the history of psychology. The former journal features an article by Michael Pettit on the history of the raccoon as a psychological research subject and why the animal failed to attain prominence in the discipline in the way of rats and pigeons. In Isis historian of science Michael Sokal uses the case of early American psychologist James McKeen Cattell to argue that scientific biography can be enhanced if one puts to use the insights derived from modern psychology. Also in this issue of Isis is a review of Alexandra Rutherford‘s book Beyond the Box: B.F. Skinner’s Technology of Behaviour from Laboratory to Life, 1950s-1970s by Jill Morawski. AHP has previously discussed Beyond the Box here, here, and here. Titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“The problem of raccoon intelligence in behaviourist America” by Michael Pettit. Continue reading Raccoons & Scientific Biography

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