Tag Archives: music

New Isis: Psychopathy in Germany & Helmholtz’s Musicology!

The June 2015 issue of Isis, the official journal of the History of Science Society, is now online. Included in the issue are two articles of special interest to AHP readers: Greg Eghigian (right) documents the history of psychopathy in Germany, while Julia Kursell, in the issue’s Focus Section on “The History of Humanities and the History of Science,” describes Hermann von Helmholtz’s work on musicology. Full details, including abstracts, follow below.

“A Drifting Concept for an Unruly Menace: A History of Psychopathy in Germany,” by Greg Eghigian. The abstract reads,

The term “psychopath” has enjoyed wide currency both in popular culture and among specialists in forensic psychiatry. Historians, however, have generally neglected the subject. This essay examines the history of psychopathy in the country that first coined the term, developed the concept, and debated its treatment: Germany. While the notion can be traced to nineteenth-century psychiatric ideas about abnormal, yet not completely pathological, character traits, the figure of the psychopath emerged out of distinctly twentieth-century preoccupations and institutions. The vagueness and plasticity of the diagnosis of psychopathy proved to be one of the keys to its success, as it was embraced and employed by clinicians, researchers, and the mass media, despite attempts by some to curb its use. Within the span of a few decades, the image of the psychopath became one of a perpetual troublemaker, an individual who could not be managed within any institutional setting. By midcentury, psychopaths were no longer seen as simply nosological curiosities; rather, they were spatial problems, individuals whose defiance of institutional routine and attempts at social redemption stood in for an attributed mental status. The history of psychopathy therefore reveals how public dangers and risks can be shaped and defined by institutional limitations.

“A Third Note: Helmholtz, Palestrina, and the Early History of Musicology,” by Julia Kursell. The abstract reads, Continue reading New Isis: Psychopathy in Germany & Helmholtz’s Musicology!

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New Issue: History of the Human Sciences

The December 2013 issue of History of the Human Sciences is now online. Included in this issue is an article on psychologist Raleigh M. Drake’s work on musical ability, discussion of cognitivism, and a special section on eros. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“The extent of cognitivism,” by V. P. J. Arponen. The abstract reads,

In this article, cognitivism is understood as the view that the engine of human (individual and collective) action is the intentional, dispositional, or other mental capacities of the brain or the mind. Cognitivism has been criticized for considering the essence of human action to reside in its alleged source in mental processes at the expense of the social surroundings of the action, criticism that has often been inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein’s later philosophy. This article explores the logical extent of the critique of cognitivism, arguing that by positing collectively shared knowledge of criteria as the engine of human action many such critiques themselves display latent cognitivism.

“There is no evidence of ‘latent cognitivism’ in Peter Hacker’s treatment of criteria,” by Michael A. Tissaw. No abstract provided.

“On the extent of cognitivism: A response to Michael Tissaw,” by V. P. J. Arponen. No abstract provided.

“Scent in science and culture,” by Beata Hoffmann. The abstract reads, Continue reading New Issue: History of the Human Sciences

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New Issue of Memorandum: Memory & History in Psychology

A new issue of the open access journal Memorandum: Memory & History in Psychology (Memorandum: Memória e História em Psicologia) is now online.  Included in this issue are six articles in Portugese and one in English. Full titles, authors, and abstracts – in both Portugese and English, where provided – follow below.

“Editorial,” by Miguel Mahfoud and Marina Massimi. No abstract provided.

“Extra! Brazilian psychology in the news in 62: brief time, lasting meanings,” by Helena Beatriz Kochenborger Scarparo, Thais de Souza Sottili, Carla Estefanía Albert and Luciana Oliveira de Jesus. The abstract reads,

O artigo busca compreender práticas psicológicas no ano da regulamentação da psicologia no Brasil. A pesquisa se baseia em matérias sobre as relações políticas, o comportamento cotidiano e a divulgação científica do jornal Correio do Povo. A coleta ocorreu no Museu de Comunicação Hipólito José da Costa, em Porto Alegre onde foi feita a seleção e fotografia de materiais referentes à psicologia. Posteriormente, foi criado um banco de dados para análise temática e discussão do material. Dentre os resultados sobressaíram-se algumas estratégias voltadas para a legitimação da área como a inserção na mídia impressa com a divulgação de cursos, pesquisas, debates e aconselhamentos. Foram evidentes as correspondências entre as práticas psicológicas explicitadas no Jornal e o contexto sócio político da época pautado pela ênfase no desenvolvimento econômico e tecnológico, pela evitação de conflitos e pela crença de que a ciência psicológica poderia promover a humanização das relações.

This research paper aims to understand the psychological practices in 1962, the year of formalization of Psychology in Brazil. The research is based on contents about political relations, behavior and science popularization in the newspaper “Correio do Povo”. Data were collected at Hipólito José da Costa Museum of Communication in Porto Alegre where all material related to psychology was selected and photographed. Afterwards, a database for analysis and material discussion was created. Among the results, some strategies oriented to the field’s legitimation stood out, as the insertion in the print media with the promotion of courses, researches, debates and advices. There was an evident correspondence between the psychological practices explained in the newspaper and the socio-political context guided by the economical and technological development emphasis, by the conflict avoidance and by the belief in the psychological science as a promoter of humanization in relationships.

“Promises of life in times of threat: women, music and resistance during the military dictatorship in Brazil,” by Ingrid Faria Gianordoli-Nascimento, Sara Angélica Teixeira da Cruz Silva, Jaíza Pollyanna Dias da Cruz, Flaviane da Costa Oliveira, Flávia Gotelip Corrêa Veloso and Laís Di Bella Castro Rabelo. The abstract reads, Continue reading New Issue of Memorandum: Memory & History in Psychology

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Summer Issue of JHBS is Now Out

The Summer 2012 issue of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences is now online (cover featured at left). Included in this issue are articles on psychologist Edward Tolman’s refusal to sign a loyalty oath in the 1950s, the aesthetics of musical research in Berlin and Vienna in the late-nineteenth century, and the use of hormonal treatments at Maudsley Hospital during the interwar years. Also in this issue is an article – by yours truly – on early questionnaire research in the United States. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below, along with a list of books reviewed in this issue.

“The biologist as psychologist: Henry Fairfield Osborn’s Early Mental Ability Investigations,” by Jacy L. Young. The abstract reads,

In the early 1880s, biologist Henry Fairfield Osborn conducted some of the first questionnaire research in American psychology. This article details how he came to distribute Francis Galton’s questionnaire on mental imagery in the United States, as well as how he altered it to suit his own burgeoning psychological research interests. The development and circulation of questionnaires at the very beginning of American scientific psychology, first by Osborn and later by G. Stanley Hall, is discussed in terms of the new psychology’s often-overlooked methodological plurality. Further, Osborn’s late nineteenth century interest in individual variation and group differences in mental imagery ability are discussed in relation to his pervasive educational and social concerns, as well as his eventual status as a prominent eugenicist in the twentieth century United States. This research into mental imagery ability foreshadows the eugenic-oriented intelligence testing that developed in the early twentieth century.

The regents versus the professors: Edward Tolman’s role in the California Loyalty Oath controversy,” by David W. Carroll. The abstract reads,

In 1950, the University of California Board of Regents approved a policy that all faculty members, as a condition for continued employment, were required to either sign an oath indicating that they were not members of the Communist Party or explain why they would not sign. A group of faculty members, led by psychologist Edward Tolman, refused to sign the oath and were fired. This article discusses how Tolman emerged as the leader of the faculty nonsigners and how his stature within psychology enabled him to recruit assistance from the American Psychological Association and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

“The bias of ‘music-infected consciousness’: The aesthetics of listening in the laboratory and on the city streets of fin-de-siecle Berlin and Vienna,” by Alexandra E. Hui. The abstract reads, Continue reading Summer Issue of JHBS is Now Out

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New in Social History of Medicine

There are a number of articles in the just released May issue of Social History of Medicine that may be of interest to AHP’s readers. In a piece on music and hypnosis, James Kennaway explores the long and complicated relationship between music and selfhood from the time of Mesmeric uses of the glass harmonica (left) to more recent concerns about brainwashing. Additionally, two articles in the issue explore aspects of asylum history. The first discusses the role of the Irish Famine of the 1840s in Irish asylums, while the second explores efforts to control suicide in English public asylums in the latter half of the nineteenth century. A further piece delves into views on alcoholism in mid-to-late twentieth century Yugoslavia. Full titles, authors, and abstract follow below.

“Musical Hypnosis: Sound and Selfhood from Mesmerism to Brainwashing,” by James Kennaway. The abstract reads,

Music has long been associated with trance states, but very little has been written about the modern western discussion of music as a form of hypnosis or ‘brainwashing’. However, from Mesmer’s use of the glass armonica to the supposed dangers of subliminal messages in heavy metal, the idea that music can overwhelm listeners’ self-control has been a recurrent theme. In particular, the concepts of automatic response and conditioned reflex have been the basis for a model of physiological psychology in which the self has been depicted as vulnerable to external stimuli such as music. This article will examine the discourse of hypnotic music from animal magnetism and the experimental hypnosis of the nineteenth century to the brainwashing panics since the Cold War, looking at the relationship between concerns about hypnotic music and the politics of the self and sexuality.

“Revisiting a ‘Demographic Freak’: Irish Asylums and Hidden Hunger,” by Melinda Grimsley-Smith.The abstract reads, Continue reading New in Social History of Medicine

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New Issue: JHBS Spring 2011

The Spring 2011 issue of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences has just been released online. Included in this issue are four all new articles as well as a number of book reviews. Among the subjects addressed in the issue’s articles are the history of linguistics, the work of Herbert Blumer, music research in early experimental psychology and the influence of nondirective interviewing methods, as developed by Carl Rogers (left), in sociological interviewing. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“‘The most important technique …”: Carl Rogers, Hawthorne, and the rise and fall of nondirective interviewing in sociology,” by Raymond M. Lee. The abstract reads,

In the 1940s, interviewing practice in sociology became decisively influenced by techniques that had originally been developed by researchers in other disciplines working within a number of therapeutic or quasi-therapeutic contexts, in particular the “nondirective interviewing” methods developed by Carl Rogers and the interviewing procedures developed during the Hawthorne studies. This article discusses the development of nondirective interviewing and looks at how in the 1930s and ’40s the approach came to be used in sociology. It examines the factors leading to both the popularity of the method and its subsequent fall from favor. Continue reading New Issue: JHBS Spring 2011

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Shell Shock in JHMAS

Two forthcoming articles in the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (JHMAS), on topics associated with the history of psychology, have been published online. The first article, by Edgar Jones, describes the psychological understanding of shell shock in Britain at the time of the First World War, while the other details the potentionally pathological relationship thought to exist between music and nerves at the turn of the nineteenth century. Title, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Shell Shock at Maghull and the Maudsley: Models of Psychological Medicine in the UK” by Edgar Jones. The abstract reads:

The shell-shock epidemic of 1915 challenged the capacity and expertise of the British Army’s medical services. What appeared to be a novel and complex disorder raised questions of causation and treatment. To address these pressing issues, Moss Side Military Hospital at Maghull became a focus for experiment in the developing field of psychological medicine as clinicians from diverse backgrounds and disciplines were recruited and trained at this specialist treatment unit. Continue reading Shell Shock in JHMAS

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Milgram Obedience Study Song

Daniel WegnerHarvard psychologist Dan Wegner has posted a song online that incorporates sampled snippets of the recordings of Stanley Milgram’s famous obedience experiments of the early 1960s. Very cool electrogroove… punctuated by screams that put the famous Wilhelm scream to shame.

Perhaps something to play before your next leture on Milgram?

(Thanks to Franklin Sayre for putting me on to this item.)

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