Washburn as Animal Psychologist

The Time Capsule section of the September 2010 issue of the American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology includes a piece on early psychologist Margaret Floy Washburn. Authored by Elizabeth Scarborough the article highlights Washburn’s important work as a comparative psychologist.

Trained by E.B. Titchener in the use of introspection, Washburn believed that access to the minds of other humans came by way of carefully controlled self-reports. While she acknowledged the temptation of anthropomorphism and controlled for it as a possible source of error, she maintained that the minds of non-human animals could be inferred from their behavior, based on the analogy of human conscious experience.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young recently completed a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Surrey in the UK. She earned her doctorate in the History and Theory of Psychology at York University in 2014.