Psyc 319 history and systems of psychology spring 2008 Instructor: Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr. Office

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Instructor: Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr.
Office: Psychology Bldg. 286 (845-2540)

Lab: Psychology Bldg. 284 (845-2540)

Home: 693-0066 (Please do not call after 10:00 p.m.)

Office Hrs.: Tue & Thur 8:30 - 9:30; Tue 2:15 - 3:15

Other times by appointment.


Required Texts:
Benjamin, L. T., Jr. (2007). A Brief History of Modern Psychology. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

(paperback edition)*

Benjamin, L. T. Jr. (2006). A History of Psychology in Letters (2nd ed.). Malden, MA:

Blackwell. (paperback edition)*

* All author royalties from books for this class donated to TAMU Psychology Club.
Readings Packet is available from Copy Corner (1404 Texas Ave. S.).
Online readings, as indicated on the Course Outline, are available on the Internet. Classics readings will be found at:
Course Goals: In the 21st century, psychology continues to be listed as one of the best careers for future employment, the psychology major is typically among the two or three most popular majors on college campuses, and psychology is often the most popular elective course in high schools today. Furthermore, the public displays a seemingly endless fascination with human behavior as evidenced in everything from movies to plays, from magazines to books, from radio talk shows to country music lyrics, and especially in television as the principal subject of talk shows, public humiliation shows (such as Jerry Springer), soap operas, so-called investigative journalism shows (e.g., Dateline, Hard Copy), dramas, comedy shows, and the “reality” television shows such as survivor formats and game shows such as “Weakest Link.” In short, psychology is everywhere. Granted the psychology of the public may not be the psychology of the professional psychologist, a conflict that often causes embarrassment for psychologists. But no one can deny that people are interested in the field. That is, whereas you might have to do some hard selling to get people interested in physical chemistry or French neoclassicist literature, one doesn’t have to sell psychology.

This course traces the development of modern American psychology from its 19th century philosophical and scientific roots in Germany as well as its roots in American popular culture. We will begin with a look at the pre-scientific practitioners of psychology in America in the 19th century – the phrenologists, physiognomists, mesmerists, spiritualists, and others – and look at how these individuals practiced their psychological trades. We will then move to 19th-century

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Europe to understand the philosophical and physiological viewpoints that led to the birth of scientific psychology. Emphasis will be placed on the early “schools” of psychology as theoretical systems influencing the development of the field, schools such as structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, and psychoanalysis. Finally we will look at the post World War II developments, principally the importance of cognitive psychology and the explosive growth of the practice specialties in psychology such as clinical, counseling, school, and industrial/ organizational psychology.

The broad goal of this course is to provide a comprehensive history of American psychology that will aid your understanding of both psychology and American society. An important lesson to keep in mind is that psychology has been shaped by the historical influences in which it developed and most of those forces lie outside of psychology. It is also

true that ideas developed within psychology have had considerable impact on the development of American history. This interaction is an ever-present theme in understanding the material of this course. Another goal of this course is that you learn something about historiography, that is the

theory and methods that underlie the research and writing of history. In short, you will learn something about the way historians do their jobs.

This course will help you integrate the information from other psychology courses that you have taken or may yet take. It will allow you to interpret the present in light of the past. It will provide you with an understanding of psychology that cannot be obtained without a historical perspective. It should teach you something about the dangers of certainty, about having humility for your own views and a greater tolerance for the views of others. Finally, it should be an enjoyable and significant learning experience.
Assignments and Evaluation Policies
Autobiographical Paper: This is an ungraded assignment, one that allows me to learn something about who you are. That is not always easy in a class of this size. The autobiographical paper should be 1-3 pages in length. It should include a little information about where you were born, where you grew up, about your family, high school activities and other hobbies, why you came to Texas A&M, your major, why you are taking this course and what you hope to get out of it, jobs you have had or have, what you plan to do when you finish your degree, anything else you would like to include, any questions you have of the instructor. You don’t have to cover all of that information; those are provided as suggestions of things you might write about. Furthermore, this exercise is not meant to be prying on my part; please do not feel you need to tell me information that you don’t want me to know. The paper is due on the second class day, January 17. In your autobiography, please include your email address and local phone number at the top of the first page. Submit this in class as a hard copy; do not send it to me as an email.
Reading: You are expected to read all of the material as indicated on the course outline prior to the class for which it is assigned. In addition, extra reading materials may be assigned from time to time. Classes will typically cover material not in your reading but for which the readings provide the background.
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Exams: There will be three exams during the course, including a final exam. The final exam is not comprehensive; it will cover reading and lecture material since the second exam. Each of the exams will count 100 points, and collectively they will determine 100% of your course grade. Content of the exams will stress reading and lecture material in the form of multiple-choice questions. You will need to bring a MARS Scantron and No. 2 pencil for each exam. Make-up exams will not be given except in those cases where the student can show proof of a university recognized excused absence as specified in the Texas A&M University Regulations, 2007-2008. Make-up exams will cover the same material but will be in a short answer/essay question format.

Occasionally an exam may be taken early if arrangements are made with the instructor’s approval. Exam dates are shown on the course outline.

Total points possible for the course = 300.
Listed below are the required scores for each letter designation in the grading system.
A = 270 points C = 210 points F = below 180 points
B = 240 points D = 180 points
Attendance Policy: Attendance will not be taken in this class and no penalty will be assessed for absences. Attendance is the sole responsibility of the student. Examinations will consist of lecture material not covered in any of the assigned readings, thus students will be held responsible for the content of the lectures. Experience strongly suggests that students who do not attend class regularly do not do well on the examinations.
Students with Disabilities: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal

anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their

disabilities. If you believe that you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Department of Student Life, Services for Students with Disabilities in Room 126 of the Koldus Building, or call 845-1637.

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Jan. 15 Orientation to the Course
Jan. 17 Historiography (NOTE: Autobiography due)
Letters: Chapter 1 – Reading Other People’s Mail: The Joys of

Historical Research (13)

Course Packet: Application, Popularization, and Public Understanding: A

Research Program in the History of American Psychology (2)

Course Packet: Inez Beverly Prosser and the Education of African

Americans (16)

Jan. 22 First Century of American Psychology
Course Packet: Psychology” entry in Oxford Companion to US History


Course Packet: The First Century of Psychological Science and Practice

in America” (8)

Jan. 24 First Century of American Psychology (continued)
Jan. 29 Philosophical and Physiological Antecedents
Brief History: Preface & Chapter 1 – Pre-Scientific Psychology (21)

Brief History: Chapter 2 – Physiology, Psychophysics and the Science of

Mind (17)

Letters: Chapter 2 - John Locke as Child Psychologist (12)

Jan. 31 Wundtian Psychology

Brief History: pp. 36-45 – Germany and the Birth of a New Science (10)

Letters: Chapter 5 – An American in Leipzig (13)

Classics: Wilhelm Wundt’s “Outlines of Psychology” Sections 5 and 8 (7)

Feb. 5 Wundt’s American Students

Classics: James McK. Cattell’s “The Psychological Laboratory at

Leipsic” (15)

Letters: Chapter 6 – The Struggle for Psychology Laboratories (12)

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Feb. 7 Ebbinghaus and the Study of Memory

Brief History: pp. 45-54 – Ebbinghaus, Brentano, Stumpf, et al (10)

Classics: Hermann Ebbinghaus’ “Memory: A Contribution to

Experimental Psychology” Chapters 1 and 3 (18)

Feb. 12 The Psychology Laboratory in America
Course Packet: The Psychology Laboratory at the Turn of the Century


Letters: Chapter 7 – William James and Psychical Research (14)

Letters: Chapter 9 - A Woman’s Struggles for Graduate Education (12)

Feb. 14 Titchener’s Structural Psychology

Brief History: pp. 74-84 E. B. Titchener and Structuralism (11)

Classics: Edward B. Titchener’s “The Postulates of a Structural

Psychology” (17)

Letters: Chapter 10 - Titchener’s Experimentalists: No Women Allowed (14)

Feb. 19 EXAM I

Feb. 21 The Influence of Charles Darwin
Darwin Site: From Darwin’s Origin of Species: Ch. 3 “Struggle for

Existence” (14)

Letters: Chapter 3 - On the Origin of Species: Darwin’s Crisis of 1858

Feb. 26 Galton and the Birth of Mental Testing

Classics: Look under Galton in the author index. Read R. H. Wozniak’s

“Introduction to Galton’s Hereditary Genius” (4)

Classics: James McK. Cattell’s “Mental Tests and Measurements” (9)

Classics: Hugh S. Fullerton’s “Why Babe Ruth is Greatest Home-Run

Hitter” (4)

Classics: Henry Herbert Goddard’s “The Kallikak Family” – Read the

Preface and Chapter 3 (25)

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Feb. 28 Functional Psychology
Brief History: pp. 84-92 – Functionalism (9)

Classics: William James’s Principles of Psychology. Read Section 5 of

Chapter IX “Stream of Thought”, pages 284-290 (7)

Classics: Lewis Terman’s “The Uses of Intelligence Tests” (21)

Letters: Chapter 8 – Hugo Münsterberg & the Psychology of Law (18)
Mar. 4 The Child Study Movement
Brief History: pp. 64-65 – Child Study (2)

Course Packet: Scientific Pedagogy (27)

Course Packet: The Santa Claus Survey: A Pioneering Nebraska Study

in Child Psychology (7)

Mar. 6 No Class – Listen to Podcasts
Listen to two podcasts (each about 25 min. long). See website below.

Dorothy Ross on G. Stanley Hall

Raymond Fancher on Francis Galton

Mar. 18 The Psychology of Sex Differences
Brief History: pp. 175-183 Woolley and Hollingworth (9)

Letters: Chapter 4 – John Stuart Mill and the Subjection of Women


Classics: Helen Thompson [Woolley’s] “The Mental Traits of Sex” –

Read Chapters 1 & 9 (21)

Classics: Leta Hollingworth’s “Social Devices for Impelling Women to

Bear and Rear Children” (11)

Mar. 20 Animal Psychology

Brief History: pp. 136-139 – Comparative Psychology (4)

Classics: R. M. Yerkes & S. Morgulis’s “The Method of Pawlow in

Animal Psychology” (17)

Course Packet: From Bottle-fed Chimp to Bottlenose Dolphin: A

Contemporary Appraisal of Winthrop Kellogg (22)

Mar. 25 EXAM II
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Mar. 27 Behaviorism
Brief History: pp. 133-144 on John Watson and Behaviorism (12)

Letters: Chapter 12 - The Behaviorism of John B. Watson (16)

Classics: John Watson’s “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It” (20)

Classics: John Watson & Rosalie Rayner’s “Conditioned Emotional

Reactions” (14)

Apr. 1 Neobehaviorism
Brief History: pp. 144-153 Neobehaviorism (10)

Classics: Edward C. Tolman’s “Cognitive Maps in Rats and Men” (20)

Letters: Chapter 15 – B. F. Skinner’s Heir Conditioner (16)
Apr. 3 No Class – Listen to Podcasts
Alexandra Rutherford on B. F. Skinner

Raymond Fancher on Sigmund Freud

Apr. 8 Psychoanalysis

Brief History: Chapter 7 – Psychoanalysis (20)

Classics: Sigmund Freud’s “The Interpretation of Dreams.” Read Chapter

3: “The Dream is a Fulfillment of a Wish” (10)

Letters: Chapter 11 – Coming to America: Freud and Jung (14)

Classics: Sigmund Freud’s “The Origin and Development of

Psychoanalysis.” Read ONLY the First Lecture (9)

Apr. 10 Gestalt Psychology
Brief History: pp. 196-203 – Cognitive/Gestalt Psychology (8)

Classics: Max Wertheimer’s “Laws of Organization in Perceptual

Forms” (18)

Letters: Chapter 13 – Nazi Germany and the Migration of Gestalt

Psychology (14)

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Apr. 15 Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Brief History: pp. 99-106, 165-168 – Business and Industrial

Psychology (12)

Classics: Hugo Münsterberg’s “Psychology and Industrial Efficiency’ pp.

3-10 (8)

Course Packet: Hugo Münsterberg: Portrait of an Applied Psychologist


Course Packet: Coca-Cola, Caffeine, and Mental Deficiency: Harry

Hollingworth and the Chattanooga Trial of 1911 (14)

Apr. 17 Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychology
Brief History: pp. 92-98, 106-112, 154-165, 168-174 – On Clinical,

Counseling, and School Psychology and the Modern Profession of

Psychology (33)

Classics: Lightner Witmer’s “Clinical Psychology” (9)

Classics: Mary Cover Jones’s “A Laboratory Study of Fear: The Case of

Peter” (8)

Classics: Carl Rogers’ “Significant Aspects of Client-Centered Therapy”


Course Packet: The Affirmation of the Scientist-Practitioner: A Look

Back at Boulder (7)

Apr. 22 Psychology’s Social Agenda: A Matter of Race
Brief History: pp. 183-195 – Social Action and Psychology of Race (13)

Letters: Chapter 14: A Social Agenda for American Psychology (14)

Letters: Chapter 16 – Kenneth B. Clark and the Brown v. Board

Decision (17)

Classics: Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s “The Development of

Consciousness of Self and the Emergence of Racial Identification

in Negro Preschool Children” (9)

Apr. 24 A History of Popular Psychology in America

Course Packet: A History of Popular Psychology Magazines in America


Journal Article: Coon, D. J. (1992). Testing the limits of sense and

science: American experimental psychologists combat spiritualism,

1880-1920. American Psychologist, 47, 143-151. Copy this

article from the library or get as an e-doc.

May 2 EXAM III (Friday) 12:30 to 2:30

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