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 is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.