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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


History of Psychology

A History Of Psychology, 2nd Edition by John G. Benjafield (Oxford University Press) An important development for any historian of psychology is the appearance of a new journal, History of Psychology, which has provided an important forum for scholars in this area. The last few years have been especially fruitful for research in the history of psychology and I have tried to incorporate as much of this new material as I can while still preserving what continues to be relevant from the first edition.

While important changes have been made to each chapter, some of these changes are more notable than others. Chapter 1 now contains a comparison of the similarity of Aristotle's theory of intelligence to a modern version. At the suggestion of reviewers, more material on associ­ationism, particularly in regard to the Mills, has been added to Chapter 2. As pointed out above, there has been a great deal of recent research on nineteenth-century psychology, enriching Chapters 3 (nineteenth-century pioneers), 4 (Wundt and his contemporaries), and 5 (James). Freud and Jung (Chapter 6) continue to becontroversial figures. For example, Freud's 'seduc­tion theory' is the focus of continuing investigation. The contemporary relevance of functional psychology is more clearly brought out in Chapter 7. Intriguing new research has also been brought to bear on Bekhterev, Lashley, and Skinner (Chapter 8). We now have a much fuller understanding of their psychology and its rela­tion to their character and cultural context. Our understanding of Gestalt psychology (Chapter 9) as a movement and its relation to German culture has also benefited from new scholarship. Fisher and the null hypothesis (Chapter 10) have in recent years become a very rich and controversial story. Chapter 11 (Theories of Learning) now contains material on Roger Sperry, whose work had unfortunately been omitted from the first edition. Chapter 12 (The Developmental Point of View) now considers the history of the develop-mental approach at the University of Toronto, including a discussion of the treatment of the Dionne quintuplets. After being a somewhat dormant force in psychology, the humanistic approach (Chapter 13) shows signs of being appreciated anew. Cognitive psychology (Chapter 14), still one of the dominant orientations in contemporary psychology, has been the focus of much attention from historians, allowing us to appreciate its origins more deeply. All of the topics in Chapter 15, including the nature of paradigms, social constructionism, feminism, and postmodernism, have been intensely investigated recently. Taken as a whole, the new research in the history of psychology demonstrates its con­tinuing relevance to the psychology curriculum.

In addition to the foregoing, the following specific changes have been made to the new edition:

  • The bibliography has been made more useful to students. For example, the first edition con­tained several references to conference papers, and these have been replaced with citations to published material where possible. In general, where multiple citations to the same work exist, that citation most likely to be available to students has been chosen.
  • The index has been revised to ensure that students will more easily find topics and people of interest. Gaps in the previous index have been filled, and the student is now given a more sensible and relevant set of headings and sub-headings.
Introductions have been written for each chapter, and annotated suggested readings and lists of important names, works, and concepts are included at the end of each chapter.


Thick Description and Fine Texture: Studies in the History of Psychology edited by David B. Baker (University of Akron Press) to honor the contributions of significant persons, the academic world has at its disposal any number of award mechanisms. Most ubiquitous are items that become the private property of the recipient, including honorary degrees, all manner of chronometers, and countless variations of engraved decorative icons. Once bestowed, the gift and recipient are often relinquished to a restive setting, removed from the currents they once occupied.

In the hierarchy of academic acknowledgment, being honored with a collection of essays generally indicates that a person's legacy is lasting and relevant. Unlike acknowledgments that inhabit personal spaces, these works reside in the public domain and serve as a perpetual reminder of past accomplishment and contribution. And so it is with this volume that pays tribute to two pioneers in the history of psychology, John A. Popplestone and Marion White McPherson.

Their founding of the Archives of the History of American Psychology at the University of Akron in 1965 was a watershed event in the history of psychology in the twentieth century. In bringing together the primary sources in the history of psychology, they brought a new legitimacy to the study of the subject. Historians of psychology had a place to hang their hat, historiography gained muscle, and scholarship broadened.

To honor their legacy a festschrift conference was convened at the University of Akron on April 7, 2000.1 A vestige of nineteenth-century German academic life, the festschrift was conceived as an expression of esteem from students who had profited from the mentorship of a beloved and accomplished professor. For Popplestone and McPherson, the archives were their university office and historians of psychology their students. Indeed their reach was far and wide, touching not only the lives of individual scholars but also shaping the corpus of the new history of psychology that was emerging in the 1960s. Shepherding this new movement from its infancy through the century's end, they created, challenged, provoked, and persevered to leave a record that has no equal.

Who better then to begin this volume than the founders themselves, answering several questions demanded by the historical record. Following the introduction, nine distinguished scholars in the history of psychology share in the reflected glory of the good works of Popplestone and Mc-Pherson. The composition of the authors reflects much of the contemporary scene in the history of psychology. Some are historians and some psychologists, all keenly aware of the primacy of original source material in historical scholarship. Each was invited to reflect upon the process of archival research.

As with any selected work the reader is free to read at will, the essays offering insights into a myriad of issues familiar to anyone who has reached for an archival folder or considered the provenance of an artifact. As one considers these diverse and informing essays, what emerges is a sense of the journey available through archival research. The panoply of available methods reminds us that historiography is dynamic and continually open to new interpretation and knowledge. The ways in which individual writers collate archival elements to produce a coherent narrative also reminds us that such undertakings are a human endeavor, capable of inducing a range of affect and experience. It seems fair to say that the journey is a satisfying one.

The opening essays, offered by two established editors in the history of psychology, Professor Michael Sokal and Professor John Burnham, provide a focused and personal examination of some of the tools and techniques of historical analysis. Sokal's discussion of microhistory offers a range of possibilities for considering the data of individual lives, whereas Bumhambrings the reader along in his search for meaning in the use of oral history.

The genre of historical biography is well represented in the papers of Professors Ludy T. Benjamin Jr., C. James Goodwin, and Leila Zenderland. Interestingly, each of the biographical subjects is part of a cohort whose careers reached full stride in the second and third decades of the twentieth century. Benjamin shows in detail how a seeming paradox of identity can be unfolded through an examination of personal and professional personas. Goodwin offers a perspective on the use of personal diaries, illustrating that the vagaries of autobiographical note taking can offer valuable in-sights into the interaction of person and place. Expanding the scope, Zenderland carefully walks the reader through the steps involved in deconstructing social policy to reveal the influence of the personal, professional, and political.

Just as biography provides rich historical narrative, so too do the tensions in the culture at large. The essay offered by Professor Hendrika Vande Kemp illustrates how one can take on a topic of massive proportions and in the process distill some essential facts and provide credence to areas of neglected historical analysis.

Professor Ryan D. Tweney treats object as subject in a fascinating piece in which the instruments and apparatus of psychology provide the raw data for considering transformations in the ways in which knowledge is generated, analyzed, and interpreted.

Completing the volume are two essays that reflect the essential nature of the archival adventure. Above all else, the Archives of the History of American Psychology serve an educational function. The holdings are there not only to preserve the historical record but also to see that it is always available to those who come in search of answers to questions about the often ethereal past. Archival work connects the past with the present and offers possibilities for the future. In it are contained patterns and interconnections. Archives can mentor and can reveal the influence of men-tors on succeeding generations. Such is the case for Professor Donald A. Dewsbury, whose archival adventures reveal much about the nature of finding an intellectual family and home. Bringing us into the present, Professor Raymond Fancher offers the perspective of a teacher of the history of psychology whose graduate students participate in an archival rite of passage that affirms the importance of the archival record.

Evolving Perspectives on the History of Psychology edited by Wade E. Pickren, Donald A. Dewsbury (American Psychological Association) Brings together important historical writing published in APA journals over the past quarter century. Includes several seminal papers from the 1970s and 1980s, as well as more recent examples of the finest work in the genre. Underscores the importance of social and cultural history in the shaping and development of psychology.

Excerpt: This volume contains 27 chapters presented in seven sections. In Part I, we provide the reader with an introduction to historical methodology historiography. Students in courses in the history of psychology often have no sense of how the methods of history differ from the methods of psychological research. Without at least a rudimentary grasp of these principles, students will not understand the basic premises or conclusions of the scholarship that follows. Failure to provide such an introduction would be comparable to neglecting to inform students in a course on basic learning theory about the research methods used to study learning.

The discipline of psychology emerged in a particular social and cultural context. It did not simply appear on the intellectual and institutional scene full‑blown. To succeed, psychologists had to address critical issues of methodology, organization, and public relations and be able to differentiate their practices from those of neighboring approaches (e.g., philosophy, physiology, and psychical research). How were psychologists able to successfully find a niche for themselves in American scientific and professional life? What were their struggles, and with whom did they compete? In Part II, six chapters together offer substantive insight into how psychologists responded to these challenges.

The next three sections present historical scholarship focused on various aspects of psychological science and practice. The selection is meant to be representative, because a complete range of research and practice cannot be included due to space limitations. Learning theories have informed and guided much of 20th‑century research in psychology. Ivan P Pavlov (1849‑1936), John B. Watson (1878‑1958), and B. E Skinner (1904‑1990) remain important figures for psychologists today. The chapters in Part III offer historical insight into their lives and work.

Part IV offers examples of historical scholarship on psychology as a social and behavioral science. The three areas represented here are developmental psychology, psychometrics, and personality psychology. Although each of these areas would benefit from further historical research, these chapters indicate the rich potential of understanding psychology as a human science.

The period between the two world wars was one of great change and increasing social anxiety. Psychology in this period also experienced significant change. Standard textbook histories typically present the period as dominated by neobehaviorism and fail to address the heterogeneity of the discipline and the emerging professional practice of psychology. In Part V, four chapters illustrate psychology and psychologists in this period. The chapters provide nuanced histories that address issues of status, both personal and professional, among psychologists and their organizations, and we should note that the impact of the Great Depression on psychologists is an important text or subtext in these histories. The question of cultural style and its influence on psychological science is also addressed.

After World War ll, clinical psychology emerged as the central professional practice of psychology and reshaped the public perception of the psychologist into that of a mental health professional. Of course, these changes have a historical context and have not gone undisputed within psychology. Psychoanalysis, although disparaged by many psychological scientists, proved to be an initially rich resource for the conceptualization and treatment of psychological disorders. The three chapters in Part VI provide a window into the development of clinical psychology and some of the controversy provoked by that development.

Since the late 1980s, the APA has had an entire directorate devoted to psychology in the public interest. Yet, American psychologists have a long history of interest in and devotion to social issues and causes. In Part VII are four representative examples of the history of psychology in the public interest: the moral project of psychology as represented by four psychologists' utopias; the struggle of women to find a place at the table of psychological science; the problem of anti‑Semitism among psychologists until World War II; and a fresh perspective on Kenneth B. Clark, the only African American to ever serve as APA's president.

We envision various uses for this book. Most standard textbooks in the history of psychology present the accepted canon, or grand narrative, of the progress of psychological thought from philosophers to physiologists, to Wilhelm Wundt (1832‑1920) and William James (1842‑1910), the socalled schools of psychology, and post‑World War II transformations of the field. There is much of value in this approach. However, recent scholars have pointed out that this oversimplifies the process and leaves much out. This has implications for the manner in which courses are taught and has resulted in some teachers of courses in history of psychology avoiding the use of textbooks in the course. This volume should prove useful to such instructors in organizing material and providing some structure without the constraints of traditional textbooks.

Other instructors feel responsible for making their students familiar with the prominent people and events in the field as portrayed in textbooks, although they recognize the constructed nature of this canon and want to enrich their courses to reveal for their students a hint of the complexity that exists at a deeper level. The present volume should be a useful supplement for such instructors. Of course, there are many instructors who are happy with standard textbooks but may want to enrich their own lectures or provide additional readings for students; this volume should be useful to them as well. Finally, we hope that there are readers with an intrinsic interest in the history of the field who will find pleasure and enlightenment in some of the best historical scholarship of recent years, even though they may have no courses about which to worry.

This volume is offered in the belief that the history of psychology is itself a viable and veridical way to understand psychological processes and phenomena. German philosopher‑historian Wilhelm Dilthey (18331911) perhaps put it best a little over a century ago: "The totality of human nature is only to be found in history; the individual can only become conscious of it and enjoy it when he assembles the mind of the past within himself" (1976, p. 176).


edited by Wolfgang G. Bringmann, Helmut E. Luck, Rudolf Miller, and Charles E. Early

Editions Q (Quintessence Publishing)

$38.95, sewn paper, bibliographies, indexes, B&W illustrations throughout



This history is superior in the number of topics covered and the diversity and number of illustrations, and the number and professional standing of the authors who have contributed to the articles. The combination of pictorial and verbal snapshots in this book has the character of a family album of academic psychology. It makes the discipline human in ways a more abstract approach cannot. As a one volume reference it is superb. Any serious reader will find some information on topics not covered in many other reference books.

By Rudolf Arnheim
Preface to the German Edition
By Helmut E. Luck, Rudolf Miller
Aristotle and Psychology
By Daniel N. Robinson
The Inner Senses: A Medieval Theory of Cognitive Functioning in the Ventricles of the Brain
By Simon Kemp
Psychologia, "actual symbol not reproducible" Psychology
By Gustav A. Ungerer, Wolfgang G. Bringmann
Christian Thomasius: A Man Ahead of His Time
By Paul McReynolds
The Witchcraze in 17th-Century Europe
By Charles W. Clark
Physiognomy, Phrenology, and Non-Verbal Communication
By Jurgen Jahnke
Goethe as an Early Behavior Therapist
By Wolfgang G. Bringmann, Ursula Voss, William D. G. Balance
An 18th-Century Baby Biography
By Wolfgang G. Bringmann, Pegge Hewett, Gustav A. Ungerer
Gnothi Sauton: The Journal of Experiential Psychology
By Jurgen Jahnke
Johannes Muller and the Principle of Sensory Metamorphosis
By Herbert Fitzek
Charles Darwin and Psychology
By Joseph F. Fitzpatrick, Wolfgang G. Bringmann
Galton's Hat and the Invention of Intelligence Tests
By Raymond E. Fancher
Metaphors of Memory: The Case of Photography
By Douwe Draaisma
Brentano: Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint
By Elisabeth Baumgartner, Wilhelm Baumgartner
William James: America's Premier Psychologist
By Klaus Jurgen Bruder
By Eberhard Bauer
Clever Hans: Fact or Fiction?
By Wolfgang G. Bringmann, Johannes Abresch
Wilhelm von Humboldt and the German University
By David K. Robinson
Jan Evangelista Purkyne (Purkinje)
By Josef Brozek, Jiri Hoskovec
Ernst Heinrich Weber
By Horst-Peter Brauns
Fechner and Lotze
By Anneros Meischner-Metge, Wolfram Meischner
Hermann von Helmholtz
By Horst-Peter Brauns
Time-Measuring Apparatus in Psychology
By Horst U. K. Gundlach
Wilhelm Wundt
By Arthur L. Blumenthal
Wundt's Laboratories
By Wolfgang G. Bringmann, Ursula Voss, Gustav A. Ungerer
Max Friedrich and the Origins of Experimental Psychology
By Peter J. Behrens
Wilhelm Wundt: The American Connection
By Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr.
Wilhelm Wundt's "Volkerpsychologie"
By Gustav Jahoda
Edward Bradford Titchener (1867-1927)
By Ryan D. Tweney
Wilhelm Wirth and the Psychophysical Seminar of Leipzig
By Christina Schroder
Hermann Ebbinghaus
By Hans Jurgen Lander
G. E. Muller: The Third Pillar of Experimental Psychology
By Peter J. Behrens
The Wurzburg School of Psychology
By Wolfgang G. Mack
The Experimental Analysis of Volition
By Heinz-Dieter Schmalt
Margaret Floy Washburn
By Ronda J. Carpenter
Can Apes Learn a Human Language?
By B. Michael Thorne
By Robert H. Wozniak
B. F. Skinner: Maverick, Inventor, Behaviorist, Critic
By Steven R. Coleman
A Purposive Behaviorist: Edward C. Tolman
By Nancy K. Innis
The Heretical Psychology of Egon Brunswik
By Elke M. Kurz, Ryan D. Tweney
Psychological Experiments
By Kurt Danziger, Paul Ballantyne
Ernst Mach and the Perception of Movement
By Michael Ley
Carl Stumpf
By Helga Sprung
The Graz School of Gestalt Psychology
By Reinhard Fabian
Gertrude Stein, William James, and Pablo Picasso's Cubism
By Marianne L. Teuber
The Psychologist Robert Musil
By Annette Daigger
The Berlin School of Gestalt Psychology
By Lothar Sprung, Helga Sprung
Gestalt Psychology at Frankfurt University
By Viktor Sarris
Wolfgang Kohler
By Siegfried Jaeger
Kurt Lewin - Filmmaker
By Helmut E. Luck
Roger Barker's Ecological Psychology
By Gerhard Kaminski
The Mental Life of Newborn Children
By Wolfgang G. Bringmann, William D. G. Balance, Norma J. Bringmann
G. Stanley Hall and American Psychology
By Charles E. Early, Wolfgang G. Bringmann, Michael W. Bringmann
Alfred Binet and the Quest for Testing Higher Mental Functioning
By Jacqueline L. Cunningham
The Beginnings of Educational Psychology in Germany
By Paul Probst
William Stern
By Wilfred Schmidt
Maria Montessori
By Elena Liotta
Lewis M. Terman: Architect for a Psychologically Stratified Society
By Henry L. Minton
Martha Muchow's Concept of Lifespace
By Rudolf Miller
Jean Piaget
By Horst Heidbrink
The Vienna School of Developmental Psychology
By Brigitte A. Rollett
Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky
By Rene van der Veer
Gordon W. Allport: A Becoming Personality
By Alvin H. Smith
George A. Kelly and the Development of Personal Construct Theory
By Robert A. Neimeyer, Thomas T. Jackson
Projective Techniques
By Peter van Drunen
A True TAT Story
By Jurgen Jahnke, Wesley G. Morgan
Classical Psychopathology
By Guiseppe Roccatagliata
Sigmund Freud: A Biographical Sketch
By Ernst Federn
Freud's Only Visit to America
By Saul Rosenzweig
The Case of Little Hans
By L. Dodge Fernald
Lou Andreas-Salome: Feminist and Psychoanalyst
By Inge Weber, Ursula Welsch
Psychoanalysts in Caricatures
By Helmut E. Luck
Alfred Adler
By Almuth Bruder-Bezzel, Rudiger Schiferer
Georg Groddeck
By Herbert Will
Carl Gustav Jung
By Angela Graf-Nold
Erich Fromm
By Rainer Funk
A Brief History of Child Sexual Abuse
By Catalina M. Arata
Psychology and the Nuremberg Trials
By Bridget O. Hannahan, Wolfgang G. Bringmann
By Antoon A. Leenaars
Anti-Psychiatry and Anti-History: "Nailing Jelly to the Wall"
By Michael J. Kral, Karen L. Marrero, Brian R. Burke
Lightner Witmer: The First Clinical Psychologist
By Paul McReynolds
Hugo Munsterberg: Pioneer of Applied Psychology
By Helmut E. Luck, Wolfgang G. Bringmann
The Origins of the Psychology of Testimony
By Siegfried Ludwig Sporer
By Peter van Drunen
Sports Psychology
By Gunther Baumler
On Telling Left from Right: The Apparatus of Handedness in Early American Psychology
By Maria F. Ippolito, Ryan D. Tweney
Lillian M. Gilbreth
By Philip M. Bartle
Traffic Psychology
By Hartmut Hacker, Wilfried Echterhoff
The Mobile Psychologist: Psychology and the Railroads
By Horst U. K. Gundlach
Industrial Psychology
By Gerd Wiendieck
Advertising Psychology
By Gerd Wiendieck
The History of Psychology
By Charles E. Early, Wolfgang G. Bringmann
Psychological Journals
By Helio Carpintero
Psychological Associations and Societies
By Horst U. K. Gundlach
Psychology in the Netherlands
By Pieter J. van Strien
French Psychology
By Regine Plas
German Military Psychology

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