The Summer 2012 issue of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences is now online (cover featured at left). Included in this issue are articles on psychologist Edward Tolman’s refusal to sign a loyalty oath in the 1950s, the aesthetics of musical research in Berlin and Vienna in the late-nineteenth century, and the use of hormonal treatments at Maudsley Hospital during the interwar years. Also in this issue is an article – by yours truly – on early questionnaire research in the United States. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below, along with a list of books reviewed in this issue.
“The biologist as psychologist: Henry Fairfield Osborn’s Early Mental Ability Investigations,” by Jacy L. Young. The abstract reads,
In the early 1880s, biologist Henry Fairfield Osborn conducted some of the first questionnaire research in American psychology. This article details how he came to distribute Francis Galton’s questionnaire on mental imagery in the United States, as well as how he altered it to suit his own burgeoning psychological research interests. The development and circulation of questionnaires at the very beginning of American scientific psychology, first by Osborn and later by G. Stanley Hall, is discussed in terms of the new psychology’s often-overlooked methodological plurality. Further, Osborn’s late nineteenth century interest in individual variation and group differences in mental imagery ability are discussed in relation to his pervasive educational and social concerns, as well as his eventual status as a prominent eugenicist in the twentieth century United States. This research into mental imagery ability foreshadows the eugenic-oriented intelligence testing that developed in the early twentieth century.
The regents versus the professors: Edward Tolman’s role in the California Loyalty Oath controversy,” by David W. Carroll. The abstract reads,
In 1950, the University of California Board of Regents approved a policy that all faculty members, as a condition for continued employment, were required to either sign an oath indicating that they were not members of the Communist Party or explain why they would not sign. A group of faculty members, led by psychologist Edward Tolman, refused to sign the oath and were fired. This article discusses how Tolman emerged as the leader of the faculty nonsigners and how his stature within psychology enabled him to recruit assistance from the American Psychological Association and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
“The bias of ‘music-infected consciousness’: The aesthetics of listening in the laboratory and on the city streets of fin-de-siecle Berlin and Vienna,” by Alexandra E. Hui. The abstract reads,
Shifts in the psychophysical study of sound sensation reinforced the changing status of musical expertise in the nineteenth century. The Carl Stumpf-Wilhelm Wundt debate about tone-differentiation experimentation narrowed the conception of hearing. For Stumpf, “music consciousness” (Musikbewusstsein) granted the experimental subjects exceptional insight into sound sensation. This belief reflected a cultural reevaluation of listening, exemplified in music critic Eduard Hanslick decrying the scourge of the city: the piano playing of the neighbors. Stumpf and Hanslick’s defenses of subjective musical expertise both inside the laboratory and on the city streets reveal the increasingly divergent conceptions of hearing and listening.
“Organ extracts and the development of psychiatry: Hormonal treatments at the Maudsley Hospital 1923-1938,” by Bonnie Evans and Edgar Jones. The abstract reads,
The use of organ extracts to treat psychiatric disorder in the interwar period is an episode in the history of psychiatry which has largely been forgotten. An analysis of case-notes from The Maudsley Hospital from the period 1923–1938 shows that the prescription of extracts taken from animal testes, ovaries, thyroids, and other organs was widespread within this London Hospital. This article explores the way in which Maudsley doctors justified these treatments by tying together psychological theories of the unconscious with experimental data drawn from laboratory studies of human organs. It explores the logic behind these treatments and examines beliefs about their efficacy. The connection between this historical episode and current research in endocrinology and psychology is explored.
Sally Shuttleworth. The Mind of the Child: Child Development in Literature, Science, and Medicine, 1840–1900. Reviewed by Adriana S. Benzaquén.
Stephanie Muravchik. American Protestantism in an Age of Psychology. Reviewed by Claire Clark.
Robert Leonard. Von Neumann, Morgenstern, and the Creation of Game Theory: From Chess to Social Science, 1900–1960. Reviewed by Christian Dayé.
Naoko Wake. Private Practices: Harry Stack Sullivan, the Science of Homosexuality, and American Liberalism. Reviewed by Edward J. K. Gitre.
Alison Winter. Memory: Fragments of a Modern History. Reviewed by Ben Harris.
Christian Fleck. A Transatlantic History of the Social Sciences: Robber Barons, the Third Reich and the Invention of Empirical Social Research. Reviewed by Michael Pettit.
Paul Shankman. The Trashing of Margaret Mead: Anatomy of an Anthropological Controversy. Reviewed by Gerald Sullivan.
John Gray. The Immortalization Commission: Science and the Strange Quest to Cheat Death. Reviewed by Eugene Taylor.