Tag Archives: Isis

History of Psychology Summer Reading

The most recent issue of Isis, the journal of the History of Science Society, contains reviews of half a dozen history of psychology related books perfect for your summer reading. These include:

Roger Smith. Being Human: Historical Knowledge and the Creation of Human Nature. Reviewed by John H. Zammito.

Andrea Tone. The Age of Anxiety: A History of America’s Turbulent Affair with Tranquilizers. Reviewed by Judy Z. Segal.

David Herzberg. Happy Pills in America: From Miltown to Prozac. Reviewed by Erika Dyck.

Francesca Bordogna. William James at the Boundaries: Philosophy, Science, and the Geography of Knowledge. Reviewed by Alan Richardson.

David Paul Haney. The Americanization of Social Science: Intellectuals and Public Responsibility in the Postwar United States. Reviewed by Mark Solovey.

William H. Tucker. The Cattell Controversy: Race, Science, and Ideology. Reviewed by Christopher Green.

Emotional Economy of Science in Isis

The most recent issue of Isis, the flagship journal of the History of Science Society, includes a special section devoted to the emotional economy of science, which touches on the more general history of emotion. In doing so, this set of articles provides the historian of psychology with an impetus for the examination of the history of emotion at multiple levels.

Paul White, in his introduction to this section, states that, “One of the aims of this Focus section is to present ways in which the emotions might be studied as objects and as agents integral to scientific practice: the practices of observation, experiment, and theory and, reciprocally, the practices of the self”. The abstract to this introduction reads:

With rare exceptions, the emotions have received little attention from historians of science. Indeed, for the modern period, interest in the field has moved in the opposite direction, as it were, toward a history of objectivity. This essay addresses methodological and historical assumptions about the nature of emotions and their place in science that limit our engagement with emotions as historical objects and agents. It outlines several approaches that situate the emotions within scientific practice, including the practices of objectivity and of the scientific self.

The items that make up this special section are listed below along with their abstracts. Continue reading Emotional Economy of Science in Isis

History of Psychology in Isis

Historians of psychology will be pleased to see a large history of psychology presence in the latest issue of Isis, the official journal of the History of Science Society. Each of the two articles included in this issue touch on the history of psychology, specifically on the nature of psychological research in the context of Cold War society.

The first article featured in Isis is, “The Creative American: Cold War Salons, Social Science, and the Cure for Modern Society.” Authored by Jamie Cohen-Cole of the Department of History at Yale University, the article explores the Cold War era study of individual character, specifically creativity. As described by the abstract:

This essay examines how post–World War II Americans linked their understanding of domestic society and international affairs by using a common lens of psychological and characterological analysis for both. That lens was fashioned by social scientists and developed to study conformity and its opposite, creative and autonomous selfhood. Creativity offered a means to achieve the liberal national society they desired. Social scientists managed their technical definitions of conformity and autonomy as a way of defining reasonable political sentiment. This essay details how, ultimately, the forms of self and sociality they advocated for America were grounded in the kinds of community and interpersonal interaction they valued in their own professional lives.

The second article is authored by Marga Vicedo of the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at University of Toronto. Continue reading History of Psychology in Isis