History of Psychology at EPA, Mar. 13-16th Boston

The Eastern Psychological Association‘s Annual meeting will take place in Boston March 13-16th. Yesterday we highlighted the PsyBorg’s Digital History symposium at the conference (for details on that session see here). Today we bring you the rest of the history programming at the conference. Below you’ll find all the details about the talks, including a keynote address from Alexandra Rutherford:  Women “Ought Not to Have Any Sex, But They Do”: And Other Tales of Gender in Science. 


Symposium: International Perspectives
Saturday, March 15
9:00-10:20, Winthrop
Chair: David B. Baker (University of Akron)

This invited symposium on the history of psychology brings together the diverse perspectives of Uwe Gielen, Professor of Psychology at St. Francis College and Executive Director of the Institute for International and Cross-Cultural Psychology, Fabian Agiurgioaei Boie, School Psychologist and formerly of the Albert Ellis Institute, and David B. Baker, Professor of Psychology and Margaret Clark Morgan Executive Director at the Center for the History of Psychology, University of Akron.


Magazin der Erfahrungsseelenkunde (1783 – 1793): The World’s First Psychology Journal, by Uwe Gielen, St. Francis College

Psychology in Romania: The Myth of Phoenix, by Fabian Agiurgioaei Boie, St. John’s University

Discussant(s): David B. Baker, University of Akron

History Invited Keynote Address: Alexandra Rutherford
Saturday, March 15, 2014
1:30 PM – 2:50 PM, Terrace
Chair: Claire Etaugh (Bradley University)

Women “Ought Not to Have Any Sex, But They Do”: And Other Tales of Gender in Science, by Alexandra Rutherford (York University)

In 1949, Edwin Boring wrote to Helen Peak that women scientists “ought not to have any sex, but they do.” What did Boring mean by this? Was he implying that men, by contrast, did not have a sex? Using a mid-20th century case study from the history of psychology, I will explore the ongoing debates about gender and science and argue that the import of Boring’s statement lingers in contemporary discourse about the problems women’s lives pose for scientific careers.

History of Psychology Paper Session
Saturday, March 15, 2014
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM, Winthrop
Chair: Michael Pettit (York University)

4:30pm – 4:45pm
The Many Lives of Menstrual Synchrony, by Michael Pettit, Jana Vigor (York University)

Since 1971, the theory of menstrual synchrony has been haunted by doubt while gaining greater public visibility. An analysis of newspapers, magazines, and textbooks alongside the scientific literature suggests that the tenacity of menstrual synchrony is due to its circulation within many heterogeneous communities where the ambiguous phenomenon acquired multiple meanings. Synchrony was simultaneously seen as evidence for evolutionary psychology, human pheromones, and the emotional attachments of “sisterhood” in the wake of second wave feminism.

4:45pm – 5:00pm
Electing Women Presidents of Regional Psychological Associations: Politics and Historical Era Matter, by Claire A. Etaugh, Courtney Siemsen (Bradley University)

Women earn 75% of psychology doctorates but remain underrepresented in leadership positions. We examined election of women presidents of the seven regional psychological associations as a function of regional political views and historical era. The regional association based in the most politically liberal area (New England Psychological Association)has elected more women presidents than associations in more conservative areas (Midwestern, Rocky Mountain, Southwestern). For all regional associations, however, women’s elections to presidencies have increased since 1980.

5:00pm – 5:15pm
Editing a History of Psychology in Autobiography: Disciplinary Commemoration as Boundary Work, by Shayna Fox Lee (York University)

By deciding whose eminence justified an invitation to contribute to the book series A History of Psychology in Autobiography, its editors engaged in disciplinary boundary work: the project of defining what psychological theories and methods would be espoused or devalued, privileged or marginalized. This paper examines the practices and relational dynamics of the editorial committees of these volumes as a lens for viewing the shifting professional contexts in which they were embedded.

5:15pm – 5:30pm
Dancing in the Dark: A Consideration of the Iowa Child Welfare Research Station, 1932-1949, by Marilyn Brookwood (Harvard University Graduate School of Education)

The Iowa Child Welfare Research Station’s Depression era contributions to child development emerged from Station resources of intellectual and social capital, and Rockefeller financial support. Iowa’s economic destitution, geographic isolation, and the state’s eugenic policies, strengthened researchers’ mission. Their drive to understand what did not make sense yielded radical findings about stimulation’s effect upon intelligence, and courage to publish new answers to questions thought settled. Only a brutal attack from Lewis Terman stopped them.

5:30pm – 5:45pm
An Historiometric Foundation for Game-Based Assessment, by Thomas Heinzen (William Paterson University)

This historiometric review suggests that 1) games are ancient; 2) the use of game design is accelerating; and 3) games create opportunities for comprehensive assessment. A 37 year empirical description documents changes in PsychInfo and ERIC, and demonstrates with storyboards how game-based assessment replaces multiple choice with time, accuracy, points, and attempts. The presentation describes how the motivational benefits of games create opportunities for longer, more comprehensive, valid assessments.

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.