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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

– contributed by Lizette R. Barton.

Recently the CCHP served as host for the 50th anniversary conference of everyone’s favorite international society for the history of the behavioral and social sciences – Cheiron. It was a pleasure to have so many great historians here in Akron and I figured since we’d have them in town we might as well share what we are doing in regards to archival education and instruction here at the Cummings Center. Thankfully the committee accepted my submission and they put me on the program.

We host visiting classes at the Center from the University of Akron and around the country. And we offer a variety of hands-on archival projects and activities – namely document analysis exercises. So even for a room full of historians I started with the basics.

I annotated the scanned letter below in order to draw attention to some of things we want the students to notice and I waxed poetic about just how much we can get from a single document.

 

AbrahamMaslowPapers_StagnerLetter_BoxM4495_folder3_IntermediateMarkup

Abraham Maslow papers, box M4495, folder 3

Just look at this gem of a letter between Ross and Abe! It’s got all my document analysis favorites – it’s missing last names, it provides societal context (The Goodyear Rubber strikes), it references someone who eventually changed their name (Krechevsky aka David Krech), it mentions the very beginnings of an unnamed psychological society (SPSSI), and it provides information on what both the receiver and writer of the letter were working on at the time (anthropology, fascist attitudes, and social psychology).

Next up – analyzing a photograph.

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Walter and Catharine Cox Miles papers, box V43, folder “Yale”

We discussed challenges associated with analyzing photographs. And we discussed issues specific to this image including how to interpret handwriting and what had been written by the owner of the image (names and dates) and what had been added later by other parties (M1199.16 is the box number from which his photograph came).

After all this talk it was time to let the Cheironians do some analyzing of their own so I reused a project we created for a UA sociology professor and her Social Inequalities class.

DavidGrantPapers_M1024_folderCorr1957I_1pg (man)_WM_Redacted_PRESENTATION

DavidGrantPapers_M1023_Corr63I_1pgs (woman)_Redacted_PRESENTATION_Redacted

David Grant papers, boxes M1023 and M1024

I distributed redacted, but unannotated copies of each of these two letters to the Cheironians and asked them to work in groups to complete a document analysis sheet. The analysis sheet first asks participants to list adjectives used to describe each candidate followed by questions including, “What do you notice about the similarities and differences in the language used to describe each candidate?”; “What might account for the differences?”‘ and “What if this same language was used in reference letters in 2018?”

I gave the groups about 15 minutes or so to work and and just like when we worked with the UA students on this project we had a great discussion! The historians had all kinds of theories. It was excellent!

For our last group project I distributed copies of Operations of the Government Hospital for the Insane (1857) – the second annual report of the first government asylum in the United States that would become known as St. Elizabeth’s – and another analysis sheet. This was a riff on a project we created for another UA sociology professor’s Sociology of Health and Illness class.

participants

Look at all these Cheironians doing history! So awesome!

The analysis sheet asked participants to locate illnesses and conditions for which patients were hospitalized. It asked participants to determine if the language describing any of the illnesses had changed over time and how similar illnesses or conditions would be described and treated today. The sheet also asked participants to look for costs associated with the running of the hospital and statistics regarding patients. And finally, “What did you find out from this document about mental health and mental health treatments you had not already known?”

Whew! What a discussion! It was excellent.

I think the coolest part was that so many people asked poignant questions regarding the history of mental health care in American and state hospitals. I took that as an opportunity to point out that while I didn’t know the answers to the majority of their question these are exactly the kinds of questions a project like this should evoke and it’s why we often let visiting instructors lead the discussion. We at the Cummings Center are experts in access but the instructors we work with are the content experts. That’s why we make such a great team!

The best part of this activity was that I was able to share with the Cheironians they could do this one with their own students since we are actively working on upload our entire collection of Cushing Memorial Library Collection of Asylum Reports to our digital repository in full-text as downloadable PDFs. Woohoo!

Cheiron was such a great time and I was so pleased to be able to share the educational work we do at the Cummings Center with such an engaged and supportive group. If you’re interested in learning more about the projects discussed here and/or working together to create an archival project please contact us at ahap@uakon.edu.

 

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-contributed by Veronica Bagley, undergraduate student in the Museums & Archives Certificate Program.

What do a polygraph kit, ouija board, and Stanford Prison experiment skateboard have in common? They’re all objects in the Drs. Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology artifact collection, and they’re all going to be on a temporary exhibit in Glimpses into the History of Psychology through Artifacts. These are just a few objects students in the Foundations of Museums and Archives class have been researching for their final project, putting together an exhibit.

Some of the objects that will be on exhibit.

Students in the Foundations of Museums and Archives Class have been spending this semester putting together an exhibit, from start to finish, to be displayed at the CCHP. In the first half of the class during Fall semester, each student selected a few items from the collection that they found interesting. Now during Spring semester, those objects are becoming one exhibit. Students picked objects covering multiple fields of psychology, including paranormal, perception, animal training, education, and popular psychology.

Though the objects in the exhibit are all very different, students have studied how they relate to psychology or how they may have been used by psychologists. Visitors to the exhibit will be able to learn about the history of psychology through a variety of fields. One of the objects I spent a large amount of time researching was a homemade “Spirit Writing Board,” for which we had little information on. I was able to use resources in the archives to research the practice of spirit writing, and through my research I learned about the field of “Parapsychology.” I even contacted an expert from The Parapsychological Association who sent me even more resources about this board and how it may have been used. Before I took this class, I did not even know this field of psychology existed! Visitors to the exhibit will be able to see the Spirit Writing Board on display, along with other objects from the field of Parapsychology. From visiting this exhibit, we hope visitors will be able to learn how broad the field of psychology is, and how it is applied in other fields.

Though the research process could be frustrating at times, especially with objects without much information attached to them, the class had some great finds! An object previously labeled as “Unidentified” became identified as a Polarimeter. Stacy Young, another student in the class, selected this object and had the task of researching it for the exhibit. From the tag on the object, she was able to start some research in the archives and found a journal that described the unidentified object. It was an incredible discovery and required some serious detective work! The Polarimeter will also be on display in the exhibit.

The label Stacy used to start her research on the Unidentified Object.

After spending the first eleven weeks of the semester researching objects and making decisions about exhibit design, the last several weeks will be spent installing the exhibit. The exhibit is also sponsored by the EX[L] Center: https://www.uakron.edu/exl/. We are very grateful for their donation to help us put together this exhibit!

The opening reception for Glimpses into the History of Psychology through Artifacts will be May 6, 2017 from 4-6 pm, and regular open hours will be Tuesdays May 9 through August 15, 2017, from 1-3pm. Admission is free. It will be located at:

Gallery C, First Floor Drs. Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology

The University of Akron Roadway Building

73 S. College Street

Akron, OH 44325-4302

The final exhibit project for this class fulfills the requirements for students in 1900:302 Foundations in Museums and Archives II at the Institute for Human Science and Culture. The class is a requirement for a Museums and Archives Certificate through the University of Akron. If you are interested in the program, contact Dr. Jodi Kearns at jkearns@uakron.edu for information.

Objects for the exhibit, laid out for research.

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– contributed by Cate Conley, Museums & Archives Certificate student.

 

“We shape our buildings, therefore they shape us.” – Winston Churchill

 

When looking at the buildings that make up The University of Akron, most people will immediately recognize the newer structures on campus, such as Infocision Stadium, the Student Union, Stile Athletics Field House, and the new dorms.  But, not many people think of the buildings that existed on campus before they were considered University property and their roles in shaping not only The University of Akron, but the community of Akron, Ohio as a whole.  As students, faculty, and staff at the University or as members of the community, we have an obligation to ourselves and to those who have yet to experience Akron, to participate in the discussion of what shapes us… what shapes our city.

On May 7, 2016 from 3-5pm students will hold an opening reception to unveil an exhibit within the Akron-Summit County Public Library’s Special Collections showcase titled The University of Akron Repurposes Akron History: Polsky’s, Quaker Square, Roadway, & St. Paul’s. The exhibition highlights the significance and value of these buildings to the University, the community, and Akron’s history. The exhibition opening is free to the public, so come visit and tell us what you think! We ask you to participate in the conversation of preservation  and the adaptive reuse of these historical buildings.  Their continued use and/or demolition shapes our future not just as students, but as members of this community.

This exhibit opens during with May’s Akron Art Walk and will be available for viewing during the Akron-Summit County Public Library, Main Library (60 S. High Street, Akron, OH 44326) from May 7 through August 21, 2016. You can visit during regular library hours.

[This exhibit is designed and installed by students participating in the Museums and Archives certificate program run by the Institute of Human Science and Culture (IHSC) at the Drs. Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology (CCHP). For more information about enrolling in the program, please contact Dr. Jodi Kearns, jkearns@uakron.edu.]

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Contributed by Charity Smith

“You’ve got to change your evil ways, baby, before I stop lovin’ you.”

On Monday, October 5th, roughly 1,100 audience members were greeted with the wise words of Carlos Santana, courtesy of Dr. Philip Zimbardo. Simple, yet sound advice, no? It is clearly a message Zimbardo took to heart when imparted to him by a powerful source of opposition, more than 40 years ago: his wife.

During Monday’s talk, hosted by the CCHP, Zimbardo gave a nod to his favorite ordinary hero, Dr. Christina Maslach, the under-celebrated whistle-blower of the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE). Maslach, who had previously been Zimbardo’s graduate student, was dating Zimbardo at the time of the SPE—likely making it doubly alarming to witness the scene she walked into on what would become the last night of the study. Zimbardo recounts this history-making moment in the clip below:

And with that, Zimbardo began his journey from the villain of the SPE to someone considerably more HIP. On the webpage for his newest endeavor, the Heroic Imagination Project (HIP), Zimbardo adds another title to his already crowded CV: Hero Cultivator. President and founder of HIP, Zimbardo describes the importance and communal nature of the program’s motto, Stand Up. Speak Out. Change the World., by imploring the audience to: “Change your perspective. ‘Me’ becomes ‘We,’ ‘I becomes us.’”

Counted in attendance were community members, professors, social workers, CCHP staff, and UA Board of Trustees members. However, in attendance there were none so important as the hundreds of folks that filled the rest of the room—the students. In addition to our own UA students, several groups made the trek from far and wide, including students from Stow-Munroe Falls, Mayfield, and Hayes high schools; Sinclair Community College; the College of Wooster; Ohio Wesleyan University; The Ohio State University; Tiffin University (featured in picture below); Thiel College; Penn State; University of Pittsburgh; and a host of others. A special “thank you” goes out to Chelsie Polcha and her partner Stephen, who joined us all the way from the University of South Florida—thank you, Chelsie and Stephen!

Tiffin Post

To these students, Zimbardo spoke directly. Using the story of a long-overdue conversation shared between he and a former student, Zimbardo imparted the importance of reaching out to others and expressing gratitude (contains adult language):

With so many young psychologists-in-the-making and social justice advocates of all generations in attendance, there is little doubt that Dr. Zimbardo’s legacy will be paid forward for generations to come.

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The staff and students of the CCHP would like to thank Dr. Zimbardo, not only for an amazing and inspiring evening, but also for his continued support of and generous donations to the CCHP. To hear Dr. Baker’s introduction and Zimbardo’s opening remarks regarding his appreciation of and contributions to the Center, watch here:

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–Contributed by Charity Smith

With Dr. Zimbardo’s upcoming visit to CCHP right around the corner (Oct. 5th, see website for details), you’d think I’d go the easy route and write about the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE). Check! Another item off my to-do list. Ok, admittedly, that’s pretty much what I intended to do…but then I got to thinking: how could my little blog post possibly compete with hearing about the SPE, straight from Zimbardo himself? Let’s face it, it couldn’t.

In searching for a new angle, I discovered that Zimbardo is the 2015 recipient of the Kurt Lewin Award—the namesake of which, is the very man whose groundbreaking research on group dynamics laid the foundation for both the SPE and Milgram’s (1963) famed (READ: infamous) obedience study. Here enter, Kurt Lewin—father of modern social psychology, pioneer researcher of human interactions, and psychologist extraordinaire. Thwarted again, my words cannot compete with those of Zimbardo, who so accurately and succinctly heralded Lewin as “probably the most influential figure in all of social psychology,” (1985).

Lewin, a Jewish immigrant who left Germany in 1933, posited that our behaviors are not simply inherent to our nature; they are the result of an interaction between ourselves (and all the contextual baggage that entails) and environment. This concept is woven throughout Resolving Social Conflicts: Selected Papers on Group Dynamics, a text published posthumously by Lewin’s wife in 1948. Divided into three sections and spanning Lewin’s work from 1935 to 1946, the text explores group dynamics, belongingness, and cultural oppression.

Part I, “Problems of Changing Culture,” explores what is needed for a culture to make effective and lasting change, particularly in relation to Germany and WWII. Perhaps the best synopsis of Lewin’s theories on conflict resolution (not to mention some timeless advice for all of us) comes from an amalgam of two articles, both found in this first section:

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Lewin Quote_Page 58

Part II, “Conflicts in Face-to-Face Groups,” Lewin discusses the impact of leadership styles on tension, conflict resolution, and behaviors resulting from group membership. Although he cites research on children, the below table and discussion of autocratic and democratic governance provides more than just the study’s findings. These results, which mirror the stark contrast between German and American rule, serve as a reminder of the space Lewin’s research holds in time: WWII.

Lewin Quote_Page 79Lewin Quote_Page 72

 

Part III, “Inter-Group Conflicts and Group Belongingness,” largely centers on the impact of prejudice and segregation on Jewish people during WWI and WWII. Spanning 1935-1946, and heavy with Lewin’s own views and minority status, these articles make salient the weight of oppression and contain concepts that are, sadly, timeless. Below he proffers both the problem and the solution:

Lewin Quote_Page 214

 

 

 

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Although I didn’t go the route of the SPE, the opportunity to read Lewin’s book brought to light the atrocities of the most horrific prison experiment of all: The Holocaust. With articles that explore this time period on a personal, psychological, and sociological level, Lewin not only defines how social evils arise, but provides us with a road map back to the humane.

 

Lewin, K. (1948). Resolving social conflicts: Selected papers on group dynamics. New York:   Harper & Bros.

Milgram, S. (1963). Behavioral study of obedience. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology,    67, 371-378.

Zimbardo, P. G. (1985, June). Laugh where we must, be candid where we can. [A conversation   with Allen Funt.] Psychology Today, 19, 42-47.

 

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Contributed by Molly Bagatto.

To celebrate Archives month and the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts USA, the CHP hosted a “Night at the Archives” for 27 fourth- and fifth-grade Girl Scouts, all of whom earned a Playing the Past program badge. The girls visited five different stations, learning about the history of women in psychology, the psychology of facial expressions, handwriting and personality, form boards as tests of intelligence, the history of Girl Scouts, and  Rorschachs and the game of Gobolinks. In this blog entry, Girl Scout Molly Bagatto (aged 10), describes her night at the Archives.

My Girl Scout troop went to the archives for an event called Night at the Archives! We earned our Playing the Past badge and learned about history, games, books, and other things that had to do with women and girls. I learned so much about how similar I am to strong women of the past who fought for education and programs for girls!

At station 1 we learned about 3 women. My favorite was Mary Whiton Calkins. I learned that she was told by a man that men were smarter than women at the type of research they were doing. The man had nothing to prove. Then Mary did some research and found out that men aren’t smarter. Since she did research, she could prove it.

At station 2 we learned about facial expressions. We played a very old game with expressions. The game was pictures of women with different expressions. We had to guess the expressions. We then played another game that was newer. There was an expression on a card. Then a person had to act out that expression and everyone had to guess what expression it was. After that we had some fake wood people with heads that turn in different spots. We had to match the parts to make an expression.

Girls learned about facial expressions by interacting with this “How Easy is it to Read a Face?” display.

At station 3 we learned about behavior back then. We wrote a sentence on a sheet of paper in cursive. We then put it up to a chart and see what matched our handwriting. When you found the ones that matched there were adjectives under it. Back then they used this chart to see how you acted, but it still described me perfectly! Then we played an old game where we had to put shapes in the right slots. This game was used for testing how good you were with shapes and how good you were with your hands.

Girls used a 1939 Handwriting Scale to assess their personalities using handwriting.

At station 4 we learned about Lou Henry Hoover. We learned that she served as president of Girl Scouts in 1922-1925. Before she even was the president of GS in 1921 she was the vice president of Girl Scouts. In 1929-1933 she served as honorary president of GS. Much, much later in 1944 she died in New York.

Lizette reads a letter from Lou Henry Hoover, pulled from the CHP collections.

At station 5 we learned about ink blots and poetry. First we did ink blots. We squirted some black paint in random spots on a sheet of paper. Then we folded it in half. We pressed it so the paint would spread out to make a picture. We then opened it up and tried to find a picture out of it. Then we made a poem about it.

Molly’s ink blot. The poem she wrote based on it:
“The elephant just sits there, mocking me.
It gets fed so much that I can’t bear!
Let’s hope I leave the zoo so we can see
If this elephant mocks you!”

I would like to give special thanks to the nice and talented women who taught us. Thanks to Shelley, Jodi, Lizette, Sara, and Dorothy I earned my Playing the Past badge.

The CHP would like to give special thanks to Molly for being our guest-blogger! We hope to see Molly and the Northeast Ohio Girl Scouts again soon.

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