Unsung Psychology Pioneers: A Content Analysis of Who Makes History (and Who Doesn’t)

A new piece in the summer 2020 issue of the American Journal of Psychology may interest AHP readers: “Unsung Psychology Pioneers: A Content Analysis of Who Makes History (and Who Doesn’t),” by Leslie D. Cramblet Alvarez, Jonah L. Leach, Jerome L. Rodriguez and K. Nicole Jones. Abstract:

Considerable evidence points to women’s absence in historical accounts of psychology. To examine current representations of women and people of color in commonly used history of psychology textbooks, a content analysis was conducted. Five textbooks were examined for the frequency of mentions of psychology pioneers in both the tables of contents and the body of the text. Coverage dedicated to men, particularly White men, outnumbered women and psychologists of color exponentially. Of the pioneers of interest examined, women received 7.1% of all mentions by name. Texts were also examined for key terms including woman, women, female/s, men, man, and male/s and coded for substantive mentions. Substantive mentions were defined as the context surrounding the term indicating a meaningful scientific contribution. Findings indicated a higher percentage of substantive mentions for man/men than woman/women and the reverse for male/s and female/s. The power of the textbook in shaping the curriculum and the importance of our curricular materials reflecting our changing student demographics are considered.

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.