Inside the Center for the History of Psychology

As we come to the end of 2010, AHP would like to take a moment to mark a milestone in efforts to preserve psychology’s past. On September 1, 2010 the new Center for the History of Psychology in Akron, Ohio opened its doors. This Center houses both the Archives of the History of American Psychology (AHAP) and a new Museum of Psychology that displays many of AHAP’s most remarkable items. As described by Lizette Royer, Senior Archives Associate for the Center,

The Center includes a self-guided gallery of some of psychology’s most important artifacts including a Bobo Doll that Albert Bandura used during his research on aggression and the Simulated Shock Generator that Stanley Milgram used during his studies on obedience in the 1960s. Visitors can view artifacts from the IQ Zoo, a roadside attraction created by psychologists (and students of BF Skinner) Keller Breland and Marion Breland Bailey. The IQ Zoo featured animals trained using behavioral principles that performed a variety of tasks including a duck that played piano and a chicken that played tic-tac-toe. Also on display are artifacts from Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment and numerous items related to the history of the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness and the role psychology has played in the military.

The Center, with its on-site Archives, is a wonderful new resource for scholars working in the field, while also serving as a venue for educating the general public about the history of psychology. To celebrate this development AHP shares with you some images of the new Center.

All images in this post come via the State Library of Ohio Newsletter, The News, article “Center for the History of Psychology at the University of Akron,” by Lizette Royer. Further photographs of the new Center, as well as an audio interview with the Center’s Director, David Baker, can be found here. AHP’s previous posts on the new Center can be found here and here.

Below: Stanley Milgram’s Simulated Shock Generator, used in his obedience to authority studies. One of the many items housed at the new Center for the History of Psychology.

Below: B. F. Skinner’s galley proofs before and after conservation.

Below: Hobbes’ Leviathon before and after conservation.

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.