The History of Psychology
The Era of Science and the Twentieth Century
Modern American Psychology
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Essays (Joan Johnson Lewis) was god-father to William James the founder of American psychology. Emerson established a uniquely American version of the Platonic doctrine of personal psychology. A person’s goal should be to develop character and, thereby, overcome the foils of the material world. His “transcendentalism” led to James’ and other American thinkers’ struggle to accommodate the necessary reliance on practical experience with the more ethereal qualities of consciousness and morality.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) (Richard Lenat’s Thoreau Reader) furthered the idea of incorporating practicality with serious thought. Like Rousseau, Thoreau actively distrusted the influence of society on the development of character and thus he added to the spirit of skepticism for authority and promoted independent action in American thought.
(1842-1910)- Included here are excerpts from
Radical Empiricism, Varieties of Religious Experience, and James
Stream of Consciousness (1892) from the Principles of Psychology, Does 'Consciousness' Exist? (1904), and The World of Pure Experience (1904) (
Edward Bellamy (1850-1898) Looking Backward From 2000 to 1887 (Guttenburg) – This Utopian thinker addressed the social problems of his times and imagined solutions and complications for the future in terms of the practical use of science and a romantic view humanity.
Sousa (1854-1932) (
Herbert (1859-1924), although born in
James McKeen Cattell's (1860-1944) Mental Tests and
James M. Baldwin (1861-1934), James McKeen Cattell, and Joseph Jastrow's (1863-1944) Physical and Mental Tests (1898 York University) and Baldwin’s A New Factor in Evolution and Consciousness and Evolution (The Mead Project) are further examples of the American Functionalist’s concern with creating a useful psychology guided by Darwinian precepts.
John Dewey’s (1859-1952) The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology, The Ego as Cause, (York University) and Democracy and Education (Gutenberg) are representations of this unique thinker’s role in the development of psychology. Dewey critically reviewed the older psychological explanations and created a framework within which useful concepts could be applied to help people. Among Dewey’s contributions are “progressive education” and student centered curricula.
James Rowland Angell’s
(1869-1949) The Province of
Functional Psychology (
Edward Lee Thorndike’s (1874-1941) Animal Intelligence
John Watson's (1878-1858) Psychology as the
Behaviorist Views It (1913) (
George Herbert Mead's (1863-1931) The Social Self (1913) (York University) represents the central idea of this pragmatist thinker. Mead effectively advocates the inseparable nature of mind and society. This is particularly true in this interaction manifested in communication.
Mary Whiton Calkins (1863-1930) – The Self in Scientific
W.E.B. Dubois’ (1868-1963) The Souls of
Black Folk (Gutenberg) established what he viewed as the principal problem for twentieth century
Lewis M. Terman's ( 1877-1956) The Uses of Intelligence Tests (1916) (
Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton (1890-1941) is widely viewed as the “inventor” of American Jazz music (He claimed that right himself). His inventive combination of improvisation, amazing technique and sensuality certainly commanded this influential times. Morton symbolized the self confidence that represented this innovative times in American history. Art was to be popular, science had to be useable, and thought that couldn’t solve problems was useless and even ridiculous.
George Gershwin (1898-1937) was the most notable American composer of his time for combining popular music (jazz and theatre music) with serious musical forms (symphonic and operatic music – Art Music). He harnessed the spirit of rebellion against European forms and used those forms to create art which communicated to a large audience; his was truly “popular” music.
Julius “Groucho” Marx (1890-1977) of the American comedy team ( the Marx Brothers) ridicules the formality of the traditional (European) approach to Higher Education in “Horse Feathers” (1932). This disrespect for the old methods from the Continent was a significant aspect of the paradigm within which psychology developed in the first half of the twentieth century in the United States. American culture continues to have a significant component of related “anti-intellectualism” but non-conformity to traditions has also produced many novel and useful dimensions of thought. American science and functional psychology are certainly among these innovations.
Gordon Allport (1897-1967) – Concepts of Trait and Personality (York University) – Allport was an important initiator of “trait” theory of personality which was the principal opposition to psychoanalytic theories. Traits are the result of experience and direct or motivated our behavior. The soundest personality is one in which “self awareness” is at a high level.
Jackson Pollock (1912-56)
Jackson Pollock (1912-56) #8, 1949
K. "Duke" Ellington (1899-1974) was one of the most important
composers of “New York” jazz. Particularly
his music in Harlem’s “Cotton Club” added an elegance to the new musical form
that aided in jazz becoming
Clark Hull (1884-1952) The Conflicting Psychologies of Learning – A Way Out, The Concept of the Habit Family Hierarchy and Maze Learning Part 1 and Part 2 (York University) are representative of this significant theorist of the psychology of learning. Hull was one of the first psychologists to build elegant mathematical theory based upon careful experimental observation. If a mark of good theory is testability, Hull’s is great theory. Psychological theorizing was no longer mere speculation
Edward C. Tolman (1886-1959) Cognitive Maps in
Rats and Men (
Harry F. Harlow’s (1885-1981) The nature of love (
Edwin R. Guthrie (1886-1959) Psychological facts and
psychological theory (
B. F. Skinner’s (1904-1990) Are theories of learning necessary?
And 'Superstition' in the
Kenneth B. Clark (1914- ) and Mamie Phipps Clark (1917-1983) The Development of Consciousness of Self and the Emergence of Racial Identification in Negro Preschool Children (York University) – The Clarks supplied the scientific evidence for the effect of segregation on the development of African American children. Their work was instrumental in the Supreme Court case (Brown vs. Board of Education, 1954) that resulted in outlawing segregation. Kenneth Clark was the first African American president of the American Psychological Association (1970).
Noam Chomsky (1928- ) Language and Mind (1968, The Value of Knowledge) – Arguably, Chomsky was one of the founders of the “Cognitive Revolution” in psychology. His persuasive arguments for internal mechanisms in language development redirected many researchers’ efforts toward “mental processes”.
Jerome Bruner (1915-
) Value and need
as organizing factors in perception (
Betty Friedan (1921- ) The Feminine Mystique; The Sexual Solipsism of Sigmund Freud (Chapter 5, Marxist Archive) – Friedan was one of the most articulate voices of the “Feminist” movement of the 1960’s. As a part of her attack on the role of women in modern culture, in this chapter, Friedan criticizes Freudian psychology as a singular deprecation of women.
Albert Bandura (1925- ) Transmission of
Aggression Through Imitation of Aggressive Models (
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