Pickren’s vision for History of Psychology

Wade PickrenPreviously on AHP: Wade Pickren was confirmed as the new editor of History of Psychology, the official journal of the Society for the History of Psychology (division 26 of the American Psychological Association).

Just prior to making this announcement, I asked him to share his thoughts with AHP.  The result, below, is a behind-the-scenes look at the future of History of Psychology.  He writes:

I am very honored to have been chosen to be only the third editor of History of Psychology. The legacy of Michael Sokal and Jim Capshew is large and I have big shoes to fill. I look forward to the challenge of building on what they have constructed. 

I think about psychology in very broad terms in both the little p and big P senses, to use Graham Richards’ distinction. I will encourage scholarship that is just as broad for publication in the journal. 

I hope to make the journal even more inclusive in terms of topics covered and to expand even further the range of authors whose sound scholarship should be published in the journal.  I hope we can add international perspectives so that we can share in the exciting developments occurring in our field in many countries around the world.  Doing so will help us realize the importance of cultural context in both science and practice. It may well be that our best and most direct way to understand the complexities of our globalizing world is to take a historical perspective. I would want our journal, History of Psychology, to be at the forefront of providing that perspective. 

I hope, as well, to add a couple of new features to the journal that I think will give more value added for our readers. These include adding a new format of short scholarly “notes.” In addition, we will begin to include profiles of archives and a teaching note in the Notes and News section. I think both of these new features will help us do a better job of sharing our knowledge outside our specialty area. We will also add essay reviews as the occasion and material makes it possible. These reviews, usually of a small group of recently published books, will add real value to the journal by offering a big picture view of recent scholarship. 

Finally, the quality and quantity of scholarship in the journal depends on the help of the history of psychology community, so I hope you all will join with me in this endeavor. 

I look forward to working with all of you over the next several years.


Any comments left below for Dr Pickren will be forwarded to him by email.

About Jeremy Burman

Jeremy Trevelyan Burman is a senior doctoral student in York University’s Department of Psychology, specializing in the history of developmental psychology and its theory (especially that pertaining to Jean Piaget). Prior to returning to academia, he was a producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

One thought on “Pickren’s vision for History of Psychology

  1. I’m just now catching up on my SHP and Cheiron news. Congratulations on your appointment to journal editor. This is great news for the field! I wish you much success and great submissions.


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