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Psychology Blog

The All About Psychology Blog will be used to alert readers to all the latest content and resources added to the website.

It will also document a significant person, event or landmark in the history of psychology every day of the year.

Ruth Winifred Howard: Today in the History of Psychology (25th March 1900)

Ruth Winifred Howard was born. The first African American woman to earn a doctorate in psychology, Howard enjoyed a very successful research and consulting career within a variety of fields including child development, family counseling, mental health training and nursing education.

Information via: On This Day in Psychology: A Showcase of Great Pioneers and Defining Moments

Édouard Claparède: Today in the History of Psychology (24th March 1873)

Édouard Claparède was born, a pioneering researcher within the field of child psychology best known for his highly influential and best-selling book 'Psychologie de l'Enfant et Pédagogie experimentale.' This groundbreaking text was translated into many languages across the world and first appeared in English under the title 'Experimental Pedagogy and the psychology of the child' in 1911.

Among the eminent psychologists to be influenced by the work of Claparède was the legendary Jean Piaget.

See following link for quality child psychology information and resources.

Child Psychology

Philip Zimbardo: Today in the History of Psychology (23rd March 1933)

Philip Zimbardo was born. A world-renowned educator, researcher, speaker and author with over 50 books and more than 400 published articles to his name, Philip Zimbardo has been informing our understanding of human behavior for over fifty years. His landmark Stanford Prison Experiment in 1971 showed how situations and systems can make good people do bad things by creating the conditions in which those in positions of power dehumanize those in less powerful positions. These controversial findings continue to resonate today in what they tell us about contemporary events such as the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses in Iraq; the resulting trial of which saw Dr. Zimbardo serve as an expert witness.

A passionate standard bearer for the discipline of psychology, Philip Zimbardo's ground-breaking public television series, Discovering Psychology has been seen by millions of people worldwide and received the Carl Sagan Award for Public Understanding of Science. He continues to pursue many important areas of research, e.g. the psychology of heroism and Social Intensity Syndrome, a new phenomenon related to long-term military socialization.

A professor emeritus at Stanford University, Philip Zimbardo served as president of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2002 and received the APA Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in the Science of Psychology in 2012.

Information via: On This Day in Psychology: A Showcase of Great Pioneers and Defining Moments

Walter S. Hunter: Today in the History of Psychology (22nd March 1889)

Walter S. Hunter was born. A renowned comparative psychologist, Hunter is best known for his pioneering research on delayed reaction in animals and children and double alternation in the temporal maze.

Hunter was a leading advocate and promoter of objective psychology though his editorial work on a number of notable periodicals e.g. the Journal of Animal Behavior, Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Index and Psychological Abstracts.

Walter S. Hunter served as president of the American Psychological Association in 1931 and was chairman of the psychology department at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island from 1936 to 1954.

Chris French Interview

Fascinating Q & A with Chris French, Professor of Psychology and Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths University.

Continue reading "Chris French Interview"

John Ridley Stroop: Today in the History of Psychology (21st March 1897)

John Ridley Stroop was born. In 1935 Stroop published a landmark article in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, entitled 'Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions.' The article which arose from Stroop's doctoral thesis was based upon previous research into the inhibiting effects of color naming and word reading stimuli in conflicting situations.

Stroop conducted a series of experiments to test hypotheses relating to the time taken for reading names of colors with the time taken for naming colors themselves e.g., if the word 'red' is printed in blue ink how will the interference of the ink-color 'blue' upon reading the printed word 'red' compare with the interference of the printed word 'red' upon calling the name of the ink-color 'blue?'

The finding that significantly longer response times occur when ink-color and color name are incongruous than when ink-color and color name are the same became known as the 'Stroop effect' and stimulated decades of research and hundreds of published studies across a range of topic areas and psychological disciplines.

B.F. Skinner: Today in the History of Psychology (20th March 1904)

Burrhus Frederick Skinner was born. One of the most eminent figures in the history of psychology, B.F. Skinner's advocacy of radical behaviorism and the experimental analysis of behavior were profoundly influential. Within his groundbreaking body of work, 'Behavior of Organisms' (1938) and 'Verbal Behavior' (1957) are widely considered major contributions to human thought.

In 1969, B.F. Skinner was presented with The National medal of Science by US President Lyndon Johnson and shortly before his death in 1990, he received the American Psychological Association's Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology.See following link to learn all about the life and work of psychology legend B.F. Skinner.

B.F. Skinner

Joseph McVicker Hunt: Today in the History of Psychology (19th March 1906)

Joseph McVicker Hunt was born. Renowned for his research on individual experience in human functioning, Hunt produced an influential body of work across a range of topics, particularly within the field of intelligence, thinking, child development and educational practice. His book 'Intelligence and Experience' published in 1961 helped usher in a more cognitivist conception of intelligence within mainstream psychology.

Among his many professional accolades, Hunt was elected president of the American Psychological Association in 1952 and he served as leader of President Johnson’s White House Task Force on Early Childhood Development, culminating in a policy based 'Bill of Rights for Children.'

Cognitive Dissonance: Today in the History of Psychology (18th March 1959)

Cognitive Consequences of Forced Compliance by Leon Festinger and James Carlsmith was published in the 'Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology.'

The premise for this classic piece of research was to test what happens to a person's private opinion when they are forced to do or say something contrary to that opinion. It was the first of numerous studies to corroborate the theory of 'cognitive dissonance.'

See following link to read this psychology classic in full for free.

Cognitive Dissonance

Journal of Applied Psychology: Today in the History of Psychology (17th March 1917)

The first volume of the 'Journal of Applied Psychology' was published. Edited by G. Stanley Hall, John Wallace Baird, and L. R. Geissler, the first issue included articles on the psychology of a prodigious child, a test for memory of names and faces and psychology and business.

See following link to learn all about the fascinating history of psychology.

History of Psychology

Harry Hollingworth: Today in the History of Psychology (16th March 1911)

The trial of U.S. v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola began. This famous federal lawsuit filed against the Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia under the 1906 food and drugs act alleged that Coca-Cola 'contained an added poisonous or added deleterious ingredient, caffeine which might render the product injurious to health.'

Prior to the trial the Coca-Cola Company called upon psychologist Harry Hollingworth for an opinion as to the influence of caffeine on mental and motor processes. In the absence of any reliable data on the subject, Hollingworth conducted a series of experiments to test the influence of caffeine on such things as perception and association, attention and judgment, steadiness, speed and coordination. Hollingworth testified that 'If the constant use of caffeine in moderate amounts would prove deleterious, some indication of such effect would have shown itself in the careful study of performance in tests covering a wide range of mental and motor processes.'

In the fourth week of the trial the case was dismissed, and for Coca-Cola, the rest, as they say, is history. By providing psychological information for the purpose of facilitating a legal decision, Hollingworth's testimony represents a landmark case in the history of forensic psychology. Hollingworth went on to become a renowned applied psychologist, conducting pioneering research within the field of industrial/organizational psychology and advertising. He was elected President of the American Psychological Association in 1927.

See following link for quality forensic psychology information and resources.

Forensic Psychology

The Authoritarian Personality: Today in the History of Psychology (15th March 1950)

'The Authoritarian Personality' by Theodor W. Adorno, Else Frenkel-Brunswik, Daniel J. Levinson, and R. Nevitt Sanford was published. The research underpinning this classic text was based on the authors strongly held conviction that a clear correlation exists between deep-rooted personality traits and overt prejudice.

In order to measure these traits among the public the authors developed and introduced the 'California F Scale,' a scale which became so popular that the study of authoritarianism dominated research within social psychology throughout the 1950's.

See following link for quality personality psychology information and resources.

Personality Psychology

Psychology of Pictorial Representation: Today in the History of Psychology (14th March 1960)

'Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation' was first published. Written by art historian Ernst Hans Gombrich, this classic text explores theories of visual perception and mental sets to examine the idea that 'making precedes matching.' Namely that an artist does not simply copy what they see in front of them, but rather draws upon and manipulates inherited 'schemata.'

Catherine 'Kitty' Genovese: Today in the History of Psychology (13th March 1964)

Catherine 'Kitty' Genovese, a New York bar manager, was murdered as she returned home to the Kew Gardens section of Queens. On the 27th March 1964 the New York Times reported the crime under the headline '37 Who Saw Murder Didn't Call The Police.' The article began 'For more than half an hour 38 respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens.'

This infamous crime sparked years of research into the social psychology of helping; in particular bystander intervention and diffusion of responsibility. There is, however, real doubt as to the accuracy of the original version of events. In 2007, Rachel Manning, Mark Levine, and Alan Collins, authors of an article in American Psychologist, stated that 'there is no evidence for the presence of 38 witnesses, or that witnesses observed the murder, or that witnesses remained inactive.'

See following link for quality social psychology information and resources.

Social Psychology

Marion Wenger: Today in the History of Psychology (12th March 1907)

Marion A. Wenger was born. A highly respected researcher renowned for his work on both the scientific study of human development and the central role played by the autonomic nervous system in the expression of affective behavior.

Wenger's best known work includes the monograph 'Studies of Autonomic Balance in Army Air Forces Personnel,' (1948) and 'Physiological psychology' published in 1956.

See following link for biological psychology information and resources.

Biological Psychology

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