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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.

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Robert Sessions Woodworth: Today in the History of Psychology (17th October 1869)

Robert Sessions Woodworth was born. A prominent academic psychologist in the first half of the twentieth century, Woodworth studied psychology under William James at Harvard University and earned a Ph.D. in psychology at Columbia University under the supervision of James McKeen Cattell.

Renowned for his work on a range of topics within the field of educational and physiological psychology, in particular the transfer of training and neural organization in emotion, Woodworth is also widely acclaimed for the influential and very popular textbooks his wrote; most notably 'Experimental Psychology,' the first edition of which was published in 1938.

Among his many professional accomplishments Robert Woodworth served as president of the American Psychological Association in 1914, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1921 and in 1956 was awarded the Gold Medal of the American Psychological Foundation for 'distinguished and continuous service to scholarship and research in Psychology and for contributions to the growth of Psychology through the medium of scientific publication.'

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

History of Psychology

Martin Theodore Orne: Today in the History of Psychology (16th October 1927)

Martin Theodore Orne was born. Emeritus professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, Orne was renowned for his pioneering work concerning the nature of hypnosis, memory distortion and lie detection and for his involvement as an expert witness in high profile criminal trials such as the Kenneth Bianchi 'Hillside Strangler' trial and the Patty Hearst bank robbery case.

Orne was also hugely influential in raising awareness of the inherent problem of demand characteristics within laboratory based behavioral research and the need for constant vigilance on the part of researchers concerning the ecological validity of their experiments.

Showcasing The Very Best Psychology Podcasts Out There.

A collection of the very best psychology related podcasts.

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Stanley Milgram: Today in the History of Psychology (15th October 1963)

Stanley Milgram's infamous article 'Behavioral Study of Obedience' was published in the 'Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology.' The first report from a series of the most notorious and controversial experiments in the history of psychology was introduced by Milgram as follows: 'This article describes a procedure for the study of destructive obedience in the laboratory. It consists of ordering a naive subject to administer increasingly more severe punishment to a victim in the context of a learning experiment. Punishment is administered by means of a shock generator with 30 graded switches ranging from Slight Shock to Danger: Severe Shock.'

Milgram's disturbing finding that 65% of subjects obeyed orders from an authority figure to inflict what they believed to be severe levels of pain on someone else still ranks among the most influential areas of social psychological research and remains the subject of much debate and conjecture to this day.

See following link for a fascinating Q & A with psychologist Gina Perry who has conducted compelling research into Stanley Milgram's infamous obedience experiments.

Gina Perry Interview

Joseph Plateau: Today in the History of Psychology (14th October 1801)

Joseph Plateau was born. An important contributor in the field of psychophysics, Plateau's research examined the perceptual processes underlying color vision and movement.

Plateau is widely credited as being the first person to demonstrate the illusion of a moving image which he achieved by creating a device known as a 'phenakistoscope.' Essentially a 'spindle viewer' a phenakistoscope consists of two discs seated on the same axis, one with slots around its edge and the other containing a sequence of drawings, which the human eye perceives as continually moving when the discs are spinning in the same direction.

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

History of Psychology

Albert Michotte: Today in the History of Psychology (13th October 1881)

Albert Michotte was born. An eminent experimental psychologist and influential writer within the field of Gestalt psychology, Michotte is best known for his work on the perception of causality.

In a series of ingenious experiments Michotte used elaborate mechanical apparatus to manipulate the movement of objects on a display screen in order to demonstrate that people infer causality when observing simple perceptual events. For instance, if a square moving at a constant speed came into contact with a second square and remained in contact with this second square while continuing to move, common observations would be that the first square had 'forced forward' or 'taken along' the second square.

Michotte published his findings in the internationally acclaimed book 'The perception of causality' in 1946

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Experimenter Effects in Behavioral Research: Today in the History of Psychology (12th October 1966)

Robert Rosenthal's classic book 'Experimenter Effects in Behavioral Research' was published. The book grew out of a reanalysis of the statistical data within Rosenthal's own doctoral dissertation which he stated 'suggested strongly that my hypothesis or expectation about how the subjects should respond had somehow been communicated to the subjects so that my hypothesis might have become a self-fulfilling prophecy.'

Such was the impact of the Robert Rosenthal's book that by 1979, The Science Citation Index (SCI) and the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCITM) reported that it had been cited over 740 times.

See following link for psychology research methods information and resources.

Psychology Research Methods

Only Great Psychology Books Make It On To This Page

Welcome to The All About Psychology Book of The Month page. Only the best, fascinating and most compelling psychology books will be featured here.

Continue reading "Only Great Psychology Books Make It On To This Page"

Sigmund Freud: Today in the History of Psychology (11th October 1885)

Sigmund Freud began his journey to the Salpêtrière in Paris to study under the pioneering neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot. Such was Charcot's influence on Freud he wrote 'I sometimes come out of his lectures...with an entirely new idea of perfection; other human being has ever affected me in this way.'

In 1889 Freud named his first son Jean-Martin in honor of Charcot. In the Freud family photo above, Jean-Martin Freud is on the back row next to his father Sigmund.

See following link for Sigmund Freud information and resources.

Sigmund Freud

Clark Hull: Today in the History of Psychology (10th October 1902)

Eminent psychologist Clark Leonard Hull made the first of many date recorded notes in what collectively became known as his 'idea books,' where he wrote down potential research questions, observations of interest and theoretical ideas throughout the course of his long and distinguished professional career.

Spanning 50 years, Hull's remarkable intellectual diary consisted of 73 books of handwritten notes, the last of which is dated 21st April 1952, recorded 19 days before his death.

Joseph Zubin: Today in the History of Psychology (9th October 1900)

Joseph Zubin was born. A world renowned pioneer in the field of experimental psychopathology, Zubin founded the Biometrics Research Unit for the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene in 1956 where he served as director for 20 years. This groundbreaking multidisciplinary research facility was hugely influential in helping to understand and evaluate the etiology of psychiatric disorders.

Following his death in 1990, Joseph Zubin posthumously received the American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology for the 'creation of a scientifically-based experimental psychopathology of schizophrenia and other mental disorders.'

The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud: Today in the History of Psychology (8th October 1953)

The first volume of Ernest Jones's 'The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud' was published. Subtitled 'The Formative Years and the Great Discoveries, 1856-1900,' part 1 of this classic three volume biography drew upon over 2000 letters, many of which Freud wrote to his future wife Martha Bernays during their 4 year engagement.

Jones's notes in the preface that 'The task of compiling a biography of Freud's life is a dauntingly stupendous one.... The reasons why I nevertheless yielded to the suggestion that I should undertake it were the considerations pressed on me that I was the only survivor of a small circle of co-workers (the 'Committee') in constant intimate contact with Freud, that I had been a close friend for 40 years and also during that period had played a central part in what has been called the "psychoanalytical movement.'

See following links for Sigmund Freud information and resources.

Sigmund Freud

Ronald Laing: Today in the History of Psychology (7th October 1927)

Ronald David Laing was born. A world renowned psychiatrist and radical thinker whose ideas profoundly challenged the prevailing view concerning the causes and treatment of mental illness.

Among Laing's most influential work was 'The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness' (1960), a study of schizoid and schizophrenic individuals, the purpose of which according to Laing was 'to make madness, and the process of going mad, comprehensible.'

Among the many tributes paid to Laing following his death in 1989, Professor Anthony Clare noted that: 'His major achievement was that he dragged the isolated and neglected inner world of the severely psychotic individual out of the back ward of the large gloomy mental hospital and on to the front pages of influential newspapers, journals and literary magazines.'

See following link to learn all about 'abnormal psychology,' including an important discussion on whether the term abnormal psychology is actually fit for purpose.

Abnormal Psychology

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