Tag Archives: Benjamin

Update on the Coca-Cola Trial Anniversary

An update on yesterday’s post regarding the anniversary of Harry Hollingworth’s caffeine research and the 1911 Coca-Cola trials:

For AHP readers wanting more information: the 2010 article, “Coca-Cola – Brain tonic or poison?“, in The Psychologist by Ludy Benjamin of Texas A&M University is freely available online through the British Psychological Society. Benjamin details The United States Government vs. Forty Barrels, Twenty Kegs Coca-Cola trial including Hollingworth’s research on caffeine consumption and the aftermath of the trial’s dismissal.

Just Released: Psychology Gets in the Game

The edited volume, Psychology Gets in the Game, has just been released by the University of Nebraska Press. Edited by Christopher D. Green and Ludy T. Benjamin Jr., the book’s chapters explore sports-related research conducted by a number of late-nineteenth and early twentieth century psychologists.

Each chapter recounts a different episode in the history of sports psychology research including: the background of Norman Tripplett‘s bicycling research, archery research conducted by John B. Watson and Karl Lashley, research on fencing and other sports by E.W. Scripture at Yale University, football research conducted at Stanford University by Walter Miles, the use of hypnotism by the St. Louis Browns‘ baseball team in an effort to improve their performance, football coach Paul Brown‘s use of psychological tests to improve his teams’ performance, the pioneering athletic research laboratory established by Coleman Griffith at the University of Illinois, and the psychomotor evaluation of Babe Ruth done in Columbia University’s psychology lab (which was recently replicated by Albert Pujols). Continue reading Just Released: Psychology Gets in the Game

APA: Ludy Benjamin resigns over AHAP, torture

Ludy Benjamin Jr.Breaking news: Ludy Benjamin Jr. has resigned from the American Psychological Association.

In addition to his well-known and long-standing scholarly involvement in the Society for the History of Psychology, for which he was recognized as a Fellow in 1981, he has also shaped the last quarter-century of several APA divisions: Teaching (Division 2), for which he was recognized as a Fellow in 1982; General Psychology (Div. 1) and Psychology of Women (Div. 35) in 1990; and Experimental Psychology (Div. 3) in 1997. 

His presence will surely be missed.

But the reasons for his resignation run deeper than the recent cuts made to the Archives of the History of American Psychology. In a note sent to the listserv of the Society for the History of Psychology, he explained:

I began thinking about resigning when APA Council began passing resolutions on the involvement of psychologists in torture and interrogations that were opposite to positions taken by other national associations in health care and public welfare. But I stayed in because of the AHAP funding issues. As I indicated in my resignation letter to James Bray, I was not resigning because APA cut funds to the Archives. But I was resigning because the process was, in my opinion, one of subterfuge from the initiation of the cuts in Central Office through what I perceived as the rigged debate on the floor of Council in Toronto.

He will also return his Presidential Citation, awarded for his many contributions to the Association.

I have been a student affiliate member since my senior year in college and a member since 1971. I have been to every APA convention since 1974. In the nearly 40 years of my membership I have held many offices in APA on boards and committees and APA Council, as well as spending two years in APA Central Office as Director of the Office of Educational Affairs. APA has given me much and I have worked hard for the Association in return.

Yet, even as he resigns from the APA, he won’t be leaving History.

Resigning was not an easy decision for me. It is something that until recently I never imagined that I would do. APA has meant much to me and it pains me to leave the Association in this way. However, I feel that my own values do not mesh well with those of the Association’s leadership. I will continue to support the Society for the History of Psychology and maintain my membership there.

To join the Society for the History of Psychology, without first joining the American Psychological Association, find information here.  For information about how to support the Archives of the History of American Psychology (both financially and in terms of donating historical materials), look here.