Winter Issue of Revista de Historia de la Psicología

AHP readers will be interested to know that the Winter Issue of Revista de Historia de la Psicología is now online. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below:

“Comparative Psychology and the Objectification of Mind: Thorndike’s Cats in the Puzzle-Box.” David O. Clark (Article written in English). Abstract:

Animal Intelligence: An Experimental Study of the Associative Process in Animals by Edward L. Thorndike contributed significantly to psychology in the 20th century. In textbooks, the experiment is attributed to Thorndike without qualification. The design looks simple and produces conviction; by trial and error, cats learn to escape from a puzzle-box. But closer reading reveals multiple controls, innovation in statistical methods, and strong theoretical interpretation. This sophistication raises questions: Did a young graduate student do this complicated experiment? Why was this expensive study funded? Is the convention now myth? This paper delves into the complex relationship between James’s functionalist project, Cattell’s mental testing and the comparative psychology of Morgan and Romanes, to conclude that Thorndike’s experiment was the means to provide functionalism with a foundational experiment and consecrate the learning curve as the method of this scientific perspective.

“From Philantrophy and Household Arts to the Scholarly Education of Psychologists and Educators: A Brief History of the University of Columbia’s Teachers College (1881-1930).” Catriel Fierro (Article written in English).

During the professionalization of American psychology towards the end of the 19th century, the pedagogical field, with its institutions, educational departments and teacher’s schools, represented one of the main ‘niches’ or focal points of study and disciplinary application for emerging graduates in the new science. The present study constitutes a historical analysis of Teachers College, an academic and professional institution linked to Columbia University, a pioneer in the education and training of American educators with international projections, between 1881 and 1930. Based on the use of various primary sources and archival documents not analyzed in previous works, a critical contextualization of the emergence of the College, and a narrative of its institutional, scientific and curricular development of the institution are offered. It shows the transit of Teachers College from a nonprofit philanthropic organization to an academic and professional training college of educators and psychologists formally associated with the University of Columbia.

“¿Quién teme al magnetismo animal? Mesmerismo, hipnosis y su fortuna crítica en Portugal en el siglo XIX [Who is afraid of Animal Magnetism? Mesmerism, Hypnosis and their critical fate in 19th century Portugal].” Bruno Barreiros (Article written in Spanish). Abstract:

This article analyses the circulation of theories and practices related to animal magnetism and hypnotism in Portugal throughout the nineteenth century. Initially, special attention was paid to the pioneering experiences and theorisations of an almost unknown author, born in the then Portuguese India, José Custódio de Faria (1756-1819), examining his doctrinal and conceptual opposition to both Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) and the fluidist and spiritualist currents that subdivided the mesmerism of the time. In a second moment, we will analyze the reception and circulation of these doctrines in Portugal, measuring the impact of Faria’s work in Portugal. We will highlight the authors involved in the process, the intellectual debates and the institutional positions that were raised then. Finally, it is intended to demonstrate that magnetism and hypnotism, often used as synonyms in the documentation, seem to have generated discomfort in scientific and university associations, having often become objects of deliberate silencing, with direct reflection in the historiography itself.

“Contribución a la historia del surgimiento de dispositivos alternativos al asilo en el tratamiento de las psicosis: el caso del hospital de día del HZGA Manuel Belgrano [Contribution to the history of the emergence of alternatives to asylum in the treatment of psychosis: the case of the day hospital of the HZGA Manuel Belgrano].” Jesuán Agrazar y Julieta De Battista (Article written in Spanish). Abstract:

This article addresses the conditions of possibility for the emergence of the Day Hospital of the “General Manuel Belgrano” Hospital in Greater Buenos Aires in 1985 (Argentina). Although day hospitals have a long history at international level and some previous experiences in the country, local studies around this problem are scarce. That is why this work, from a historical-critical perspective, tracks the facility in its origins and in different geographical scenarios, addresses some key experiences in the province and the referents of the time, to approximate the framework that gave rise to the experience of Belgrano. The importance of this case is that it was a beacon institution during the time it was open, as it became a reference for clinical care and professional training. It was also a source of inspiration for the creation of other facilities also dedicated to the psychoanalytic treatment of psychosis in Argentine.

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.