Rewriting Wundtian psychology: Luigi Credaro and the psychology in Rome

A new piece in History of Psychology will interest AHP readers: “Rewriting Wundtian psychology: Luigi Credaro and the psychology in Rome,” by Renato Foschi and Andrea Romano. Abstract:

After Rome became the capital of Italy in 1871, prestigious scientists arrived at the University of Rome. One of these scholars was the pedagogical philosopher Luigi Credaro (1860–1939). He was one of the rare Italian students of Wilhelm Wundt (1832–1920) when he went to Leipzig and attended the Institute for Experimental Psychology in the academic year 1887–1888. There he also followed the pedagogical seminars and considered the usefulness of establishing sections of practical pedagogy in Italian magisterium schools, which were teacher-training institutions. In 1904, he founded in Rome the Scuola Pedagogica (Pedagogical School). Through the school, Credaro proposed the concept of a scientific pedagogy based on the application of the results of experimental sciences in the educational field. We can suppose that this approach influenced the first generation of Italian scholars interested in experimental psychology in Rome, in particular Sante De Sanctis (1862–1935) and Maria Montessori (1870–1952). The article thus considers the hypothesis of the formation of a so-called Roman school of psychology, which created in the field of pedagogy a ground on which to develop its research and applications. It should be noted that Credaro devoted himself to the potential applications of experimental psychology in the context of the modernization of the liberal states of the 20th century. Specifically, scientific pedagogy constituted a field of application and development for Roman psychology. At the end, the foundation of psychology in Rome was influenced by a particular version of the Wundtian psychology promoted by his pupil Credaro.

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.