Tag Archives: Italian psychology

New Issue of HoP Fresh off the Press!

hop-150The May 2015 issue of History of Psychology (vol 18, issue 2) is now available (find online here), and is chock-full of interesting content. From analyses exploring the materiality of psychological and psychiatric instruments (including the Cattell Infant Intelligence Scale, the ‘Utica Crib,’ and the controversial transorbital ice pick lobotomy instrument introduced by Walter Freeman), to historiographic discussions (about how to further internationalize the practice of the history of psychology in North America, and about the necessity of attention to multiple temporalities and contexts within the history of psychology in Brazil), there’s a little something for everyone.

The abstracts read as follows:

Test or toy? Materiality and the measurement of infant intelligence.
By: Young, Jacy L.
Adopting a material culture perspective, this article interrogates the composition of the copy of the Cattell Infant Intelligence Scale housed at the University of Toronto Scientific Instruments Collection. As a deliberately assembled collection of toys, the Cattell Scale makes clear the indefinite boundary between test and toy in 20th-century American psychology. Consideration of the current condition of some of the material constituents of this particular Cattell Scale provides valuable insight into some of the elusive practices of intelligence testers in situ and highlights the dynamic nature of the testing process. At the same time, attending to the materiality of this intelligence test reveals some of the more general assumptions about the nature of intelligence inherent in tests for young children. The scale and others like it, I argue, exposes psychologists’ often-uncritical equation of childhood intelligence with appropriate play undertaken with an appropriate toy, an approach complicit in, and fostered by, midcentury efforts to cultivate particular forms of selfhood. This analysis serves as an example of the kind of work that may be done on the history of intelligence testing when the material objects that were (and are) inherently a part of the testing process are included in historical scholarship.

Continue reading New Issue of HoP Fresh off the Press!

New HoP: Italian Social Psych, Postwar College Counselling Centers, & Psych’s Vocabulary

The February 2014 issue of History of Psychology is now online.  Included in this issue are articles on the creation of college counseling centers in postwar America, a comparison of psychology’s vocabulary with that of other disciplines, and the establishment of Italian social psychology. Other historiographical pieces explore archival sources for Wundt scholarship, as well as the state of work on Soviet psychology. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Great aspirations: The postwar American college counseling center,” by Tom McCarthy. The abstract reads,

In the decade after World War II, psychologists, eager to bring the benefits of counseling to larger numbers, convinced hundreds of American colleges and universities to establish counseling centers. Inspired by the educational-vocational counseling center founded by psychologists at the University of Minnesota in 1932, Carl R. Rogers’s “client-centered” methods of personal adjustment counseling, and the 400-plus college counseling centers created by the Veterans Administration to provide the educational-vocational counseling benefit promised to returning World War II servicemen under the 1944 GI Bill, these counseling psychologists created a new place to practice where important currents in psychology, higher education, and federal policy converged and where they attempted to integrate educational-vocational counseling with personal adjustment counseling based on techniques from psychotherapy. By the mid-1960s, half of America’s colleges and universities had established counseling centers, and more than 90% offered students educational, vocational, and psychological counseling services, a great achievement of the first generation of counseling psychologists.

“Patterns of similarity and difference between the vocabularies of psychology and other subjects,” by John G. Benjafield. The abstract reads, Continue reading New HoP: Italian Social Psych, Postwar College Counselling Centers, & Psych’s Vocabulary

New History of Psychology: Reputation, Politics, and Archives

The May 2013 issue of History of Psychology is now online. Included in this issue are articles on the role of reputation in academic life via a study of psychologist Kenneth James William Craik, the intersection of science and politics in communist Germany, and the work of Italian Catholic psychologist Agostino Gemelli (left). Other pieces include a discussion of Gantt charts as a means of visually depicting history and a look at the Piaget Archives in Geneva, Switzerland. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“The reputation of Kenneth James William Craik,” by Alan F. Collins. The abstract reads,

Reputation is a familiar concept in everyday life and in a range of academic disciplines. There have been studies of its formation, its content, its management, its diffusion, and much else besides. This article explores the reputation of the Cambridge psychologist Kenneth Craik (1914–1945). Having examined something of Craik’s life and work and the content of his reputation, the article concentrates on the functions that Craik’s reputation has served, particularly for psychology and related disciplines. The major functions of that reputation are identified as being a legitimation and confirmation of disciplinary boundaries and discontinuities in the period shortly after World War II, an exemplification of how to be a modern scientist and of the values to embrace, a reinforcement of science as having a national dimension, an affirmation of psychology as a science that can serve national needs, and a creation of shared identities through commemoration. The article concludes that studies of reputations can illuminate the contexts in which they emerge and the values they endorse.

“Science in a communist country: The case of the XXIInd International Congress of Psychology in Leipzig (1980),” by Wolfgang Schönpflug & Gerd Lüer. The abstract reads, Continue reading New History of Psychology: Reputation, Politics, and Archives

New Issue: History of Psychology

The November issue of History of Psychology has just been released online. Included in the issue are three all new research articles, as well as a piece on teaching and a news and notes feature. The latter brings to our attention some previously unknown correspondence between Harry Harlow and Nadya Nikolaevna Ladygina-Kohts, author of The Chimpanzee Child and the Human Child. In his piece on teaching Dana Dunn, proposes emphasizing Kurt Lewin as the link between social psychology and rehabilitation psychology. Research article in this issue of History of Psychology, look at Princeton president James McCosh’s (right) role as part of the tradition of so-called “old psychology,” the use of a rhetoric of uncertainty in early American psychology, and the emergence of Italian social psychology. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Last of the Mohicans” James McCosh and psychology ‘old’ and ‘new’,” by Elissa N. Rodkey. The abstract reads,

This paper addresses the history of a rhetorical tradition in psychology that made a distinct division between old and new psychology and denigrated the old. The views of James McCosh, a transitional old psychologist and Princeton’s president from 1868 to 1888, are analyzed to evaluate the stereotypical view of old psychology as antiscience and dogmatic. The evidence of James McCosh’s writings and his actions while president of Princeton suggest the need for a more nuanced interpretation of the relationship between the old and the new. While McCosh did not share the new psychologists’ valuation of experimental psychology, this was because of a disagreement over the correct methods of science, not a rejection of science itself. Therefore, the negative view of old psychology is better understood as a rhetorical strategy on the part of new psychologists who had professional reasons to distance themselves from their old psychology heritage.

“The invention of uncertainty in American psychology: Intellectual conflict and rhetorical resolution, 1890–1930,” by Anne C. Rose. The abstract reads, Continue reading New Issue: History of Psychology

Italian HoP Archive Now Online

A new website documenting the history of psychology in Italy has been launched.  The site, Archivi Storici della Psicologia Italiana (ASPI), provides online access to archival materials in the collections of a number of important Italian psychologists that are housed at The Reels (the Historical Archives of Italian psychology). The project is described as

an interdepartmental research center at the University of Milan-Bicocca aimed at conservation and development of primary sources relating to the history of Italian psychology, understood in all its manifestations: from the tradition of phenomenological psychology to legal psychology and social work to psychoanalysis and clinical psychology, psychology of cognitive processes to neuropsychology.

The Reels was created in 2005 following the first acquisition of the archive and library of Vittorio Benussi and Caesar Musatti. Later he acquired the important fund Giulio Cesare Ferrari and that of the sociologist Giancarlo Arnao.

The official unveiling of the site will take place on April 20th, at 5pm at the Palazzo Litta, Milan (Italy), Corso Magenta 24. The history of Italian psychology can be explored here.

Conference on German & Italian Psychology

RomeA conference entitled “The Historical Relations between German and Italian Psychology in an International Framework” will be held in Rome this week (15-16 Oct). The conference is being sponsored by the Istituto Italiano di Studi Germanci, in collaboration with the journals Physis and History of Psychology. The organizers describe the theme as follows:

The birth and affirmation in Italy of a psychology with ‘scientific’ aspirations were broadly influenced by the psychological ‘research practices’ developed in the German cultural area: from those of an experimental kind – with Wundt and the Leipzig school, G. E. Mueller and the Goettingen school, Stumpf and the Berlin school, Kuelpe and the Wuerzburg school — to those with a ‘phenomenological’ approach inspired by Brentano, up to those tied to the psychiatric and psychoanalytic tradition. Continue reading Conference on German & Italian Psychology