New Issue of HoP: Baldwin & the Baltimore Bordello, Digital History, & Einfühlung (Empathy)

The November 2013 issue of History of Psychology is now online. Included in this issue is an article on the sex scandal that led James Mark Baldwin (right) to resign from Johns Hopkins University in 1909. Written by longtime Baldwin scholar Robert Wozniak (along with Jorge Santiago-Blay), the piece describes in detail the circumstances surrounding Baldwin’s arrest in a Baltimore bordello. The issue also includes a digital exploration of the contents of G. Stanley Hall’s American Journal of Psychology and Pedagogical Seminary (by AHP bloggers Jacy Young and Christopher Green), a piece documenting the conceptual history of Einfühlung (or empathy),  and an article on the research possibilities of the Society for the History of Psychology’s History of Psychology Newsletter. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Trouble at Tyson Alley: James Mark Baldwin’s arrest in a Baltimore bordello,” by Robert H. Wozniak and Jorge A. Santiago-Blay. The abstract reads,

In June 1908, James Mark Baldwin, then Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University and at the pinnacle of his career, was arrested in a Baltimore house of prostitution. Although he insisted on both his legal and moral innocence and all legal charges against him were dismissed, the threat of scandal led Hopkins authorities to demand Baldwin’s resignation and Baldwin to remove himself and his family permanently to France. While this is one of the most notorious events in the early history of American psychology, almost nothing has been known about the incident itself, because both Baldwin and Hopkins took great pains to keep these details private. Based on court records, contemporary newspaper accounts, and archival materials in the Presidential Records at Hopkins and elsewhere, it is now possible to reconstruct the events of 1908 and their aftermath in detail. This article describes these occurrences; places them in the context of Baldwin’s life, personality, and career; presents newly obtained information on the immediate consequences of the arrest, including circumstances leading to Baldwin’s forced resignation; and describes the long-term impact of Baldwin’s removal from the United States. Although no definitive conclusion with regard to Baldwin’s guilt or innocence can be reached, we conclude by contrasting the treatment received at the hands of his colleagues in psychology with the lifelong support received from his wife and family, and suggest that Baldwin may have been the victim of a premature rush to judgment.

“An exploratory digital analysis of the early years of G. Stanley Hall’s American Journal of Psychology and Pedagogical Seminary,” by Jacy L. Young and Christopher D. Green. The abstract reads,

In this article, we present the results of an exploratory digital analysis of the contents of the two journals founded in the late 19th century by American psychologist G. Stanley Hall. Using the methods of the increasingly popular digital humanities, some key attributes of the American Journal of Psychology (AJP) and the Pedagogical Seminary (PS) are identified. Our analysis reaffirms some of Hall’s explicit aims for the two periodicals, while also revealing a number of other features of the journals, as well as of the people who published within their pages, the methodologies they employed, and the institutions at which they worked. Notably, despite Hall’s intent that his psychological journal be strictly an outlet for scientific research, the journal—like its sister pedagogically focused publication—included an array of methodologically diverse research. The multiplicity of research styles that characterize the content of Hall’s journals in their initial years is, in part, a consequence of individual researchers at times crossing methodological lines and producing a diverse body of research. Along with such variety within each periodical, it is evident that the line between content appropriate to one periodical rather than the other was fluid rather than absolute. The full results of this digitally informed analysis of Hall’s two journals suggest a number of novel avenues for future research and demonstrate the utility of digital methods as applied to the history of psychology.

“A brief conceptual history of Einfühlung: 18th-century Germany to post-World War II U.S. psychology,” by Laura Hyatt Edwards. The abstract reads,

This brief conceptual history, modeled on Koselleck’s Begriffsgeschichte, adds to earlier histories of empathy. It showed that Johann Gottfried Herder, not Robert Vischer, invented Einfühlung as an objective scholarly method during 18th-century absolutist–relativist disputes. Original 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century scholarly texts demonstrated that continued attempts to redress these disputes drove many of Einfühlung’s conceptual transformations. Empathy first appeared in U.S. scientific psychology as a personal characteristic when relativists sought to redress the absolutist–relativist methodological dispute that began between John Watson and Edward Titchener. The conclusion notes limitations to this Begriffsgeschichte.

“The History of Psychology Newsletter, 1969–1997: History and index,” by Donald A. Dewsbury. The abstract reads,

During 1968–1997, Division 26 of the American Psychological Association, now the Society for the History of Psychology, and its predecessor, the History of Psychology Group, published a series of some 101 newsletters. These are a form of gray literature unfamiliar to some historians of psychology. I provide both an overview of the newsletters and their history and some highlights of the 153 substantive articles appearing in the newsletter through its run. Many issues of both sets include features such as a Notes and News section, a President’s Message, Membership Lists, assorted division business items, and other items of potential interest to members of the division. However, many issues, especially the later ones, also contained substantive articles that are of broader interest. These materials provide a potentially valuable source for historians of psychology.

“Review of Cold war social science: Knowledge production, liberal democracy, and human nature, and Working knowledge: Making the human sciences from Parsons to Kuhn,” by Paul Erickson. The abstract reads,

Reviews the books, Cold War Social Science: Knowledge Production, Liberal Democracy, and Human Nature by Mark Solovey and Hamilton Cravens (2012) and Working Knowledge: Making the Human Sciences From Parsons to Kuhn by Joel Isaac (see record 2012-13212-000). Taken together, these two important books make intriguing statements about the way to write the histories of fields like psychology, sociology, anthropology, and economics in the Anglo American world during the 20th century. To date, histories of these fields have drawn on a number of fairly well-established punctuation marks to assist in periodization: the shift from interwar institutionalism in economics to postwar neoclassicism, with its physics-like emphasis on mathematical theory-building; the transition from the regnant prewar behaviorism through a postwar “cognitive revolution” in American psychology; and the move in fields like sociology and anthropology away from positivism and the pursuit of what has sometimes been called “grand theory” in the early postwar era toward a period defined by intellectual and political fragmentation, the reemergence of interpretive approaches and a reaction to the scientistic pretensions of the earlier period. These books, by contrast, provide perspectives orthogonal to such existing narrative frameworks by adopting cross-cutting lenses like the “Cold War” and the working practices of researchers in the social and behavioral sciences. As a result, they do much to indicate the value of casting a historiographical net beyond individual disciplines, or even beyond the “social sciences” or the “human sciences” sensu stricto, in the search for deeper patterns of historical development in these fields.

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.