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History of Psychology

Inbar Graiver
This article argues for the need to broaden the scholarly focus on the history of the modern discipline of psychology to include the history of psychological knowledge. It seeks to demonstrate the benefits to be derived from this endeavor by focusing on late antique psychology and presenting the novel methods of psychological investigation that emerged within the Christian monastic movement, especially introspection. Far from being a historically recent invention, I argue that introspection was systematically and self-consciously employed by late antique monks as a method for producing knowledge about the human mind...
February 25, 2019: History of Psychology
Bartłomiej Dobroczyński, Aleksandra Gruszka
The aim of this article is to present Władysław Heinrich as one of the pioneers of Polish psychology. In the first part, Heinrich's achievements are presented in the broad context of the political, ethnic, and cultural situation in Polish territory as well as with regard to some of the most important figures in Polish psychology from the 19th and early 20th centuries (e.g., Wiszniewski, Ochorowicz, Abramowski, Twardowski). The outlined characteristics of several projects for practicing psychology show the academic centers with which Polish researchers entered into dialogue (e...
February 25, 2019: History of Psychology
Simon Kemp
During the later Middle Ages, a number of religiously oriented people behaved in ways that we would consider unusual, yet it was unusual for them to be regarded as mentally disordered. This article reviews late medieval thinking and practice with regard to mental disorder and also with regard to the discernment of spirits, that is, how it could be decided whether an experience or impulse to do something was the consequence of God or a good spirit, an evil spirit, or some purely human cause. Many of the criteria for discerning a good spirit were behavioral, for example, consistently showing humility and discretion, and were clearly distinct from those displayed in mental disorder...
February 7, 2019: History of Psychology
Saulo de Freitas Araujo
Most of the psychology programs in Brazil have mandatory courses on the history and foundations of psychology, whatever names such courses may receive. In any case, Brazilian psychology students are supposed to acquire knowledge about the historical development of psychological theories and psychology as a science and profession, which would allow them to adopt a critical perspective toward their own theoretical and practical choices. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
February 2019: History of Psychology
Yeh Hsueh
As scholars across the world commemorate the 40th anniversary of Piaget's death, in 2020, a 10-volume Collected Works of Jean Piaget will begin to appear in China's bookstores. This translation was edited by Qiwei Li, a prominent psychologist at East China Normal University in Shanghai and an International Associate of Fondation Archives Jean Piaget in Geneva. Li oversees a team of 53 Chinese scholars who are completing the most comprehensive Chinese translation of Piaget's works to date, a project that is financially supported by China's State Publishing Foundation and that will be published by Henan University Press...
February 2019: History of Psychology
Martin Wieser
Forty years after the end of World War II, historians and psychologists finally began to thoroughly investigate the involvement of psychological theory and practice with the National-Socialist regime. After this first wave of critical self-reflection, however, very little systematic work has been done to expand our historical knowledge of the darkest chapter in the history of German psychology. As part of a running project on the history of psychology during National Socialism in Austria, the Sigmund Freud Private University (SFU) Berlin hosted a 2-day conference about this topic that was open to the general public...
February 2019: History of Psychology
Jacob L Mackey
A common view among ancient historians about Roman attentiveness to children's psychological development needs reconsideration. The view holds that Romans ignored children's cognitive ontogeny, perceiving early childhood as a largely undifferentiated life stage. A separate but related issue is the problematic claim that Roman childhood was entirely a matter of social construction. I present evidence from over four hundred years of Roman writing to make three points against Roman neglect of children and radical social construction...
December 13, 2018: History of Psychology
Marco Innamorati, Ruggero Taradel, Renato Foschi
In Catholic culture, and especially within the Italian Catholic environment, there has recently been a significant revival of the practice of exorcism. This is a fact noted by historians such as Levack (2013) and Young (2016). The article intends to show how this phenomenon is related to a series of important historical turning points, the most important of which is the recent collaboration between exorcists and Catholic psychologists and psychiatrists to establish a differential diagnosis between real possession and mere psychopathology...
December 3, 2018: History of Psychology
Robert Kugelmann
Thomas Verner Moore (1877-1969), a Catholic priest, psychologist, and psychiatrist, developed a Catholic psychiatry in the first half of the 20th century. Following a brief description of Moore's life, this article develops his psychiatric theory, beginning with its grounding in Thomistic philosophical thought. The relationship between reason and faith, the place of the soul in psychological theory, and a central role for Catholic moral teaching were three Thomistic principles vital to Moore's thinking. Defining psychology as the science of personality, and the study of personality as central to psychiatry, Moore articulated a theory and practice of psychotherapy that he contended was scientifically sound...
November 29, 2018: History of Psychology
Ivan Flis
The commentaries by Baldwin (2018), Green (2018), and Porter (2018) on the 2 articles (Burman, 2018; Flis & Van Eck, 2018) in this special section provide a unique perspective on digital humanities approaches to history of psychology. Each of the commentators approached the topic through their own lens-Melinda Baldwin as a historian of scientific journals, Christopher Green as a pioneer in digital history of psychology, and Ted Porter as a historian of quantification. In my response, I tried to reply to the 3 comments by critically discussing 4 themes the special section has raised: the relationship between digital history and conventional history, the perspective that takes databases as both sources for historians and objects in history, the relationship between "thick descriptions" and "thin" digital ones, and finally, the role of digital history as a type of a "trading creole" between scientists working in quantified disciplines like scientific psychology and less quantified ones like history...
November 2018: History of Psychology
Christopher D Green
The articles authored by Flis and van Eck (2018) and by Burman (2018) serve as fine examples of the ways in which digital historical methods can illuminate aspects of psychology's past that would probably not be possible otherwise. This success, however, presents no reason to think that digital history is some kind of threat to conventional historiography or that former aims to replace the latter. The two can work complementarily-so closely, in fact, that it sometimes becomes difficult to know which of the two one is practicing at any given moment...
November 2018: History of Psychology
Theodore M Porter
Much history of psychology presumes a discordance between its humanistic methods and the focus on rigorous statistical reasoning that is typical of the field it studies. However, the conditions of abundant data typical of digital humanities tend to relax the constraints of tests of significance and to allow greater freedom to try out alternative interpretations within the frame of a single study. At the same time, the elusiveness of rigorous standardization within a very large database, especially if it stretches over wide spaces or many decades, may be seen to demand meticulous source criticism of a sort that has more often been associated with the humanities than with quantitative science...
November 2018: History of Psychology
Melinda Baldwin
In their articles for this special issue on digital humanities, Jeremy Burman (2018) and Ivan Flis and Nees Jan van Eck (Flis & van Eck, 2018) examine how psychology journals can be used as sources for large-scale data sets that might illuminate the development of psychology as a research discipline. In my commentary, I seek to situate these two articles in a broader history of scientific publishing and offer further thoughts on the possibilities and pitfalls of data-based methods for the history of scientific publishing...
November 2018: History of Psychology
Jeremy Trevelyan Burman
This special section on the digital history of psychology includes target articles by Ivan Flis and Nees Jan van Eck and Jeremy Trevelyan Burman, with comments by Melinda Baldwin, Ted Porter, and Chris Green. In his introduction to the section, Burman explains his original motivation in turning to tools borrowed from the digital humanities: helping graduate students to identify dissertation topics more easily, and thereby reduce completion times for the doctorate, while at the same time doing "good history...
November 2018: History of Psychology
Mauro Antonelli
This article reconstructs Vittorio Benussi's (1878-1927) research on autonomia funzionale emotiva [emotional functional autonomy], carried out in Padua between 1920 and 1927. Its aim is to demonstrate that Benussi believed-against the intellectualist mainstream of the psychology of his time and even against the Brentanian-Meinongian tradition in which he was educated-in the fundamental independence of emotions from the cognitive functions that usually accompany them. To study this autonomy, Benussi used hypnosis as an experimental tool designed to disassemble the phenomena of mental life from their global functional unity...
October 25, 2018: History of Psychology
Geir Kirkebøen
The 17th-century philosopher René Descartes's radical new understanding of psychological phenomena is usually presented very inaccurately in psychological literature. Two extreme examples are Damasio's (1994) Descartes' Error and Wilson's (2002) Strangers to Ourselves. These two much-cited books contrast the "great" philosopher's naive mistakes with recent research on, respectively, the relation among emotions, reason, and the brain (Damasio) and the adaptive functions of unconscious processes (Wilson)...
October 22, 2018: History of Psychology
Michael R W Dawson, Cor Baerveldt, Evan Shillabeer, Vickie Richard
We examine the University of Alberta's Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Psychology (1965-1990) in the context of social science conducted during the Cold War. We begin by considering the center with respect to three important properties of social science at this time: an emphasis on interdisciplinarity, a focus on theory, and a preference for quantitative methods. Our analysis suggests that center activities also exhibited these characteristics. They were highly interdisciplinary, they were concerned with the development of psychological theory, and center members were experts in a variety of formal, mathematical, or statistical techniques...
September 27, 2018: History of Psychology
Jörgen L Pind
The Tenth International Congress of Psychology, held in Copenhagen in late August of 1932, was the last International Congress held before events leading up to World War II came to interfere with the course of the congresses. Despite the difficult times, primarily because of the Great Depression and the fragile political situation, the congress nevertheless managed to bring together participants from many countries, thus emphasizing the international profile of psychology. The 1932 congress was characterized by the wide range of topics presented and discussed...
August 16, 2018: History of Psychology
Patrick Drumm
Australia's Aborigines possessed a rich cultural heritage dating back more than 55,000 years by the time British colonization began in the late 1700s (Davis, 2009). The British invaders could not comprehend the worldview of the Aborigines, whose hunter-gatherer culture emphasized preservation of the varied environments they occupied across the continent. Native traditions of walking, singing, and, most importantly, dreaming both created and maintained the world's existence since the first dawn. Aboriginal cosmology differed so drastically from the colonists' that it posed an insurmountable intellectual challenge...
August 2018: History of Psychology
Renato Foschi
This article summarizes the book "The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences" by Jason A. Josephson-Storm (University of Chicago Press, 2017) is a volume that attempts to stimulate discussion on domains considered different: esotericism, spiritism, occultism, idealism, and positivism. (PsycINFO Database Record
August 2018: History of Psychology
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