Bibliography: History of Women in Psychology

This post is written by Kelli Vaughn, York University and is part of a special series of bibliographies on topics in the history of psychology.

In 2005, I wrote an article that included the phrase “we must teach the teachers;” no where is this more true than the study of the history of women in psychology. Even today when the body of scholarship in this marginalized area is growing we still see that women are forgotten or placed in a box (or “special” chapter as the case may be). The goal of my research is to address the need to rid ourselves of these omissions and pedestals by the general inclusion of women’s history within texts and courses, where it has always belonged. The first step in doing that is, as I mentioned, to teach the teachers or in this case the future teachers that which they are often not provided in their initial training. The following is a list of basic resources to familiarize yourself with the names and work of the earliest female pioneers in the field as well as the struggles often incurred in the historical construction of women and gender. These resources are updated regularly on my own website.


Benjamin, L. T., Jr. (1980). Women in psychology: Biography and autobiography. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 5, 140-144.

Bohan, J. S. (1995). Re-placing women in psychology: Readings toward a more inclusive history. Second Edition. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.

Furumoto, L. (1984). Review of Women scientists in America: Struggles and strategies to 1940. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 20, 238-240.

Furumoto, L. (1985, December). Placing women in the history of psychology course. Teaching of Psychology, 12, 203-206.

Furumoto, L. (1987). On the margins: Women and the professionalization of psychology in the United States, 1890-1940. In M. G. Ash & W. R. Woodward (Eds.), Psychology in twentieth century thought and society (pg. 93-113). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Furumoto, L. (1988). Shared knowledge: The experimentalists, 1904-1929. In J. G. Morawski (Ed.), The rise of experimentation in American psychology (pg. 94-113). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Furumoto, L., & Scarborough, E. (1986). Placing women in the history of psychology: The first American women psychologists. American Psychologist, 41, 35-42.

Guthrie, R. V. (1976). Even the rat was white: A historical view of psychology. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

Morandi, B., & Townsend, D. T. (2006). Raising students‘ awareness of women in psychology. Teaching of Psychology, 2, 113-117.

O’Connell, A. N. & Russo, N. F. (1990). Women in psychology: A bio-bibliographic sourcebook. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

O’Connell, A. N. & Russo, N. F. (1983). Models of achievement: Reflections of eminent women in psychology. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Russo, N. F., & Denmark, F. L. (1987). Contributions of women to psychology. Annual Review of Psychology, 38, 279-298.

Rutherford, A. & Pickren, W. E. (2008). Women and minorities in psychology. In S. Davis and B. Buskist (Eds.), The handbook of 21st century psychology (pg. 25-36). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Scarborough, E., Furumoto.L. (1987). Untold lives: The first generation of American women psychologists. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Stevens, G., & Gardner, S. (1982). The women of psychology: Vol. I. Pioneers and innovators. Cambridge, MA: Schenkman.

Stevens, G., & Gardner, S. (1982). The women of psychology: Vol. II. Expansion and refinement. Cambridge, MA: Schenkman.

Stevens, G., & Gardner, S. (1985). Psychology of the scientist: LIV. Permission to excel: A preliminary report of influences on eminent women psychologists. Psychological Reports, 57, 1023-1026.

Stevens, G., Gardner. (1982). The women of psychology. Cambridge, MA: Schenkman

Unger, R. K. (2001). Handbook of the psychology of women and gender. New York, NT: John Wiley and Sons.

Warren, W. (1999). Black women scientists in the United States. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Wright, M. J. (1992). Women ground-breakers in Canadian psychology: World war II and its aftermath. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 33(4), 657-682.

Society for the Psychology of Women Heritage Site

Women in Psychology

Women’s Intellectual Contributions to the Study of Mind and Society

Classics in the History of Psychology Special Collections: An Historical View of Some Early Women Psychologists and the Psychology of Women

Those interested in knowing more about the history of women in psychology may wish to visit the “Women Past” section of Psychology’s Feminist Voices, an online archive where the stories of female psychologists are explored through short biographical entries, oral histories, videos, and more.

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