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A Brief History of Modern Psychology, 3rd Edition

Ludy T. Benjamin Jr.

ISBN: 978-1-119-49323-5 October 2018

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A Brief History of Modern Psychology offers a concise account of the evolution of this dynamic field—from early pioneers of psychological theory to cutting-edge contemporary applications. In this revised third edition, leading scholar Ludy Benjamin surveys the significant figures, concepts, and schools of thought that have shaped modern psychology. Engaging and accessible narrative provides readers historical and disciplinary context to modern psychology and encourages further investigation of the topics and individuals presented. This book provides a solid foundational knowledge of psychology’s past, covering essential areas including prescientific psychology, physiology and psychophysics, early schools of German and American psychology, and the origins of applied psychology, behaviorism, and psychoanalysis. Exploration of 20th century and contemporary developments, including the emergence of clinical and cognitive psychology, ensures a complete overview of the field.

The author integrates biographical information on widely recognized innovators such as Carl Jung, Wilhelm Wundt, and B.F. Skinner with lesser known figures including E.B. Titchener, Mary Calkins, and Leta Hollingworth. This personalistic approach to history allows readers to understand the theories, research, and practices of the individuals who laid the foundation to modern psychology.

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List of Illustrations xiii

Preface xvii

1 Prescientific Psychology 1

A Public Psychology 4

Phrenology 4

Physiognomy 7

Mesmerism 9

Spiritualism 10

Mental Healing 11

The Road to Mental Philosophy 13

British Empiricism 14

Scottish Realism 15

American Mental Philosophers 16

Struggles for the New Science 16

2 Physiology, Psychophysics, and the Science of Mind 18

Brain and Nervous System 20

Cortical Localization 20

Specificity in the Nerves 23

The Speed of Nerve Conductance 24

Sensory Physiology 26

Color Vision 27

Pitch Perception 27

Psychophysics 28

Ernst Weber’s Research 29

Fechner’s Psychophysics 30

3 Germany and the Birth of a New Science 33

Wundt’s Leipzig Laboratory 34

Wundt’s System of Psychology 35

Wundt’s Research Methods 37

Psychological Instrumentation in Research 39

The Research in Wundt’s Laboratory 40

Wundt’s Völkerpsychologie 41

Wundt’s Students 41

Hermann Ebbinghaus and the Study of Memory 42

Franz Brentano’s Act Psychology 46

Carl Stumpf and the Psychology of Music 46

Georg Elias Müller and Memory 47

Oswald Külpe and Thinking 48

4 Origins of Scientific Psychology in America 51

William James as Psychologist 52

James’s Principles 53

James’s Student: Mary Whiton Calkins 56

James as Psychologist and Philosopher 58

G. Stanley Hall and the Professionalization of Psychology 58

The Child Study Movement 59

Adolescence and Hall’s Genetic Psychology 60

Psychoanalysis, Religion, Aging 62

James McKeen Cattell: Psychology’s Ambassador 63

Cattell’s Mental Tests 63

Cattell as Editor of Science 65

Getting the Word out about a New Science 66

5 The Early Schools of American Psychology 68

The Early North American Psychology Laboratories 69

Structuralism 70

Introspection 73

Studies of Sensation: Psychology’s Periodic Table 75

The Laboratory Manuals 75

The Experimentalists 76

Titchener’s First Doctoral Student: Margaret Floy Washburn 77

Functionalism 78

British Influences 79

Chicago: Angell’s Functional Psychology 80

Columbia: Woodworth’s Dynamic Psychology 81

Woodworth’s Textbooks 83

The Psychological Work of the Functionalists 83

The Legacies of Structuralism and Functionalism 84

6 The Birth of the New Applied Psychology in America 86

The Beginnings of Clinical Psychology 88

Lightner Witmer’s Psychological Clinic 88

A Psychology of Business 92

The Psychology of Advertising 93

Münsterberg and Industrial Efficiency 95

Lillian Gilbreth’s Engineering Psychology 96

Business Psychology Outside the Academy 98

Vocational Guidance 98

Intelligence Testing 99

A Misapplication of Psychology—Eugenics 100

Münsterberg and the Psychology of Law 102

The New Profession of Psychology 103

7 Psychoanalysis 104

Freud’s Early Training 105

Josef Breuer and the Case of Anna O 107

Psychoanalysis as a Theory of the Normal Mind 108

Psychoanalysis as a Theory of the Neuroses 109

Anxiety and Defense Mechanisms 109

Childhood Sexuality 110

Psychoanalysis as Method 111

Psychoanalysis in America 113

The Neo-Freudians 117

Alfred Adler’s Individual Psychology 117

Carl Jung’s Analytical Psychology 118

Karen Horney: A Feminist View of Psychoanalysis 120

The Continued Popularity of Psychoanalysis 121

8 Behaviorism 122

John Watson and the Founding of Behaviorism 123

Beginnings of Comparative Psychology 124

Watson’s Behaviorism 127

Conditioned Emotions: Little Albert 128

Watson at Johns Hopkins University 129

Watson as Behaviorism’s Founder 130

The Growth of Behaviorism 131

Neobehaviorism 131

Tolman’s Cognitive Behaviorism 131

Hull’s Hypothetico-Deductive Behaviorism 133

Skinner’s Radical Behaviorism 135

Behaviorism: A Final Note 139

9 The New Profession of Psychology 140

A Profession Defined 141

Experiences in World War I 142

Early Organizational Efforts in Professional Psychology 144

The Role of Psychological Assessment 147

Clinical Psychology 148

Industrial–Organizational Psychology 151

School Psychology 153

Counseling Psychology 155

The Modern Profession 157

10 A Psychology of Social Action and Social Change 159

The Psychology of Sex Differences 161

Helen Bradford Thompson (Woolley) 161

Leta Stetter Hollingworth 164

Kurt Lewin’s Action Research 166

Rehabilitation Psychology and the Social Stigma of Disability 169

The Psychology of Race 171

Race Differences in Intelligence 172

Psychology and School Desegregation 174

A Final Note 178

11 Cognitive Psychology 179

Gestalt Psychology 181

Frederic Bartlett and the Constructive Mind 185

The Rise of Modern Cognitive Psychology in America 188

Karl Lashley and the Hixon Symposium 188

Computer Metaphors 189

Pioneers of the 1950s 191

Naming the Field: Ulric Neisser 196

Epilogue 197

References 202

Index 219

  • New coverage of topics including psychological instrumentation in research, the misapplication of psychology in eugenics, and rehabilitation psychology and the social stigma of disability
  • Revised and updated material reflecting current scholarship on the history of psychology and related fields
  • Streamlined coverage of biographical information to allow for new material while preserving the book’s brief form 
  • Integrates knowledge of contemporary psychology with historical perspective
  • Discusses conceptual, experimental, applied, and popular culture aspects of modern psychology
  • Covers major events in the history of psychology, including the Thayer Conference and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale revision
  • Discusses the role of psychology in modern mass media and social interaction
  • Applies biographical and historical context to significant figures and schools of thought
  • Provides a streamlined and engaging alternative to encyclopedic history of psychology texts