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.