Tag Archives: Center for the History of Psychology

Inside Robbers Cave on ABC Radio

Gina Perry, author of Beyond the Shock Machine: The Untold Story of the Notorious Milgram Psychology Experiments, has a new project that looks at the Sherif’s Robber’s Cave experiment. Perry has just produced an episode for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National’s show Hindsight on this famous psychological study of group relations. The program features interviews with some of the boys who participated in the experiment and audio recorded as part of the study, as well as interviews with historians of psychology David Baker, of the Center for the History of Psychology, and Hank Stam, of the University of Calgary. As described on the program’s website,

In 1954 at a small national park in rural Oklahoma, Turkish-American psychologist Muzafer Sherif brought two groups of 11-year-old boys to a summer camp. The boys, from Oklahoma city, arrived at the camp excited at the prospect of three weeks outdoors. What they didn’t know and what they were never told was that their behaviour over the next three weeks would be studied, analysed, discussed and used in theories about war, interracial conflict and prejudice for generations to come.

Almost 60 years since it was conducted, it’s still cited in psychology textbooks today. But what’s less well known is that the Robbers Cave was Sherif’s third attempt to generate peace between warring groups. The earlier studies were the 1949 ‘Happy Valley Camp’ study in Connecticut, and the second was his 1953 ‘Camp Talualac’ study.

‘Inside the Robbers Cave’ tells the story of two of the three studies. Producer Gina Perry’s research unearths a tale of drama, failure, mutiny and intrigue that has been overlooked in official accounts of Sherif’s research.

The program features original archival audio from recordings made during 1953 and 1954.

The program Inside Robbers Cave can be heard online here. Perry also discusses her research for the project on her blog here.

History of Popular Psychology, Now at the CHP

Are you a fan of popular psychology? What about the history of popular psychology? If so, you’ll want to check out a recent post on the Center for the History of Psychology (CHP) blog (the image above is taken from that post). The post discusses the Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr. Popular Psychology Magazine Collection now housed at the CHP, which includes more than 1600 pieces of popular psychology literature. Among some of the magazines in the collection are copies of Mesmeric Magazine, Success: The New Psychology Magazine, and The Psychogram: A Magazine of Christian and Practical Psychology. (More information about these items can be found online here.) As you might guess, these magazines were donated to the CHP by psychologist and historian of psychology Ludy Benjamin, Jr.

The CHP blog post also includes audio of an interview with Benjamin, wherein he discusses his collection and the development of popular psychology in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century. That interview can be heard online here.

CHP Blog: Hollingworth Home Movie

In case you missed it yesterday, the Center for the History of Psychology (CHP) has posted on their blog a 8 minute clip of a home movie by psychologists Harry and Leta Stetter Hollingworth. The clip is narrated by CHP Reference Archivist Lizette Royer Barton, who reads from Harry Hollingworth’s autobiography over the course of the film (below).

The Center is currently collaborating with the University of Akron Press and will release Harry Hollingworth’s two volume memoir – Roots in the Great Plains: The Applied Psychology of Harry Hollingworth (Vol. I) and From Coca-Cola to Chewing Gum: The Applied Psychology of Harry Hollingworth (Vol. II) – in the new year.

New Center for HoP Blog

The Center for the History of Psychology (CHP) in Akron, Ohio has just begun a new blog project. The blog will be written by CHP staff, students, and interns and posts will include information on interesting items recently uncovered in the Center’s collections, the experiences of those working with the collections, and CHP events, projects, and initiatives.

The blog’s most recent post was contributed by CHP intern (and AHP contributor) Arlie Belliveau. In this post, she writes of her initial efforts at preserving and digitizing some of the thousands of films housed at the CHP (right). She writes,

After all the paperwork, my passport is stamped, I’ve crossed the border and started my Student Internship with the Center for the History of Psychology in Akron, Ohio. During my one-month internship, I will be working with the CHP’s Moving Image collection, which includes more than 5,000 titles. I find the prospect incredibly exciting, as my Masters thesis research centered around the Micromotion films of scientific managers and industrial psychologists Frank and Dr. Lillian Gilbreth. I was able to work with a selection of their film collection, which had been digitized in 2006 by the National Film Preservation Foundation. That research would not have been possible without that digitization effort. And so, my plan at CHP is to assess the film collection, preserve the canisters at greatest risk of deterioration, and digitize (and make publicly available) whatever I can.

You can read the rest of this blog entry here and subscribe to the CHP blog here.

New Issue: History of Psychology

The May 2011 issue of History of Psychology, the official journal of the Society for the History of Psychology (Division 26 of the American Psychological Association), has just been released online. Included in this issue are a number of all new articles on topics including: the nature of coverage of the new psychology in the pages New York Times, the colonization of childhood via developmental psychology, William James on space perception and the history of the concept of regression.

Also included in this issue is a teaching article on using history to illuminate the scientist-practitioner gap within clinical psychology, as well as pieces on the new Center for the History of Psychology, Roderick Buchanan’s reflections on writing a biography of Hans Eysenck, and news from the American Psychological Association’s Council of Representatives. Titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Press coverage of the new psychology by the New York Times during the Progressive Era,” by Paul M. Dennis. The abstract reads,

Press coverage of psychology by the New York Times was examined for the Progressive Era. Following a period in which psychology was associated with spiritualism, psychoanalysis, and the Emmanuel movement, the Times gave editorial preference to reports about psychology’s applications. Reaching an audience that was both affluent and influential, the topics emphasized by the Times included the lie detector, psychological applications in the work place, mental tests, and child psychology. These areas reflected issues of social concern to Progressives, publicized the rise of the psychologist as expert, and aided psychology in its challenge to common sense.

“Look–normal: The colonized child of developmental science,” by Donna Varga. The abstract reads, Continue reading New Issue: History of Psychology

Social Media & the History of Psychology

Advances in the History of Psychology has taken the leap into social media and joined both Facebook and Twitter. You can now follow us via our Facebook page and our Twitter feed for even more on the latest developments in the history of psychology.

Those interested in even more history of psychology via social media may also want to check out the Facebook pages of the Society for the History of Psychology, Division 26 of the American Psychological Association, and the Center for the History of Psychology. Both post regularly and are great sources for unique finds in the history of psychology. The Center for the History of Psychology’s Facebook page is particularly interesting for its regular posts of archival material from its Archives of the History of American Psychology. For instance, today’s Archival Gem o’ the Day, as posted on their facebook page, is a psychoanalysis comic from 1955 (right). According to their post,

The inside cover reads: “Through the medium of comic format, we will attempt to portray, graphically and dramatically, the manner in which people find peace of mind through the science of psychoanalysis.” (Published by “Entertaining Comics.” Provenance unknown.)

Check in with their Facebook page regularly for even more archival gems. And, of course, don’t forget to follow AHP on Facebook and Twitter!

Inside the Center for the History of Psychology

As we come to the end of 2010, AHP would like to take a moment to mark a milestone in efforts to preserve psychology’s past. On September 1, 2010 the new Center for the History of Psychology in Akron, Ohio opened its doors. This Center houses both the Archives of the History of American Psychology (AHAP) and a new Museum of Psychology that displays many of AHAP’s most remarkable items. As described by Lizette Royer, Senior Archives Associate for the Center,

The Center includes a self-guided gallery of some of psychology’s most important artifacts including a Bobo Doll that Albert Bandura used during his research on aggression and the Simulated Shock Generator that Stanley Milgram used during his studies on obedience in the 1960s. Visitors can view artifacts from the IQ Zoo, a roadside attraction created by psychologists (and students of BF Skinner) Keller Breland and Marion Breland Bailey. The IQ Zoo featured animals trained using behavioral principles that performed a variety of tasks including a duck that played piano and a chicken that played tic-tac-toe. Also on display are artifacts from Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment and numerous items related to the history of the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness and the role psychology has played in the military.

The Center, with its on-site Archives, is a wonderful new resource for scholars working in the field, while also serving as a venue for educating the general public about the history of psychology. To celebrate this development AHP shares with you some images of the new Center.

All images in this post come via the State Library of Ohio Newsletter, The News, article “Center for the History of Psychology at the University of Akron,” by Lizette Royer. Further photographs of the new Center, as well as an audio interview with the Center’s Director, David Baker, can be found here. AHP’s previous posts on the new Center can be found here and here.

Continue reading Inside the Center for the History of Psychology