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Archive for the ‘Museum’ Category

~ contributed by Nicole Orchosky based on her Capstone project for completion of the Museums & Archives Studies certificate. Know Thyself serves as an intro to an online exhibition Nicole has also prepared.

Toward the end of the 1700s, a young Franz Joseph Gall sat in a schoolroom and glanced around at his fellow classmates. Gall caught on to a trend that fascinated him–he noticed that the students with excellent memorization skills often had prominent eyes and large foreheads. This discovery led Gall to hypothesize that the physical structure of one’s head may correspond to one’s personality traits in consistent and predictable ways. As Gall grew older he began to lecture on the subject, he expanded his theory into the science of phrenology, which quickly gained traction in Europe before spreading overseas to America by way of Gall’s own student Johann Kaspar Spurzheim [1]. 

Franz Joseph Gall, credited as the creator of phrenology.
Image credit: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Smithsonian Institution. “Smithsonian Learning Lab Resource: Franz Joseph Gall 1758-1828).” Smithsonian Learning Lab, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, 25 Nov. 2016.

Phrenology, now considered pseudoscience, was widely popular in the 19th century among the general public as a way to make sense of human behavior. Middle class Americans were drawn to phrenology as one may be drawn to the predictions of astrological horoscope. They took comfort in the notion that something as unpredictable and subjective as the human psyche could now be quantified by a series of cranial measurements. The skull was divided into regions called “organs,” and the physical measurement of an organ would determine if you exhibited more or less of the personality trait corresponding to that organ. Gall theorized that the more developed the trait, the larger the organ, and the larger a protrusion it formed in the skull [1].

Phrenological bust from Fowler and Wells’ Phrenological Cabinet showing the “organs” of the brain and labelled with corresponding characteristics. Visit the National Museum of Psychology to see a phrenological bust up close.
Image credit: National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. “Smithsonian Learning Lab Resource: Phrenology, By L. N. Fowler.” Smithsonian Learning Lab. 29 Jan. 2020. Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access. 06 Dec. 2020.

As soon as brothers Orson and Lorenzo Fowler learned of the theory from visiting lecturer Spurzheim, they turned Phrenology into their life’s passion and joined with fellow phrenological enthusiast Samuel R. Wells to establish America’s most prominent phrenological hub, The Phrenological Cabinet in New York City [2]. The storefront functioned as a museum, medical office, and publishing house all in one. Busts, both real and replica skulls, and phrenological diagrams and literature were displayed and sold here. Anyone could walk in and have their own skull measured and examined to gain a better sense of self as well as discover ways in which they could correct their negative behaviors. Magazines like The Phrenological Journal and Life Illustrated were published and distributed here, including writings by the Fowlers themselves, who spent much of their time lecturing about their theories all over the country.

Samuel R. Wells, Charlotte Fowler Wells, and Lorenzo N. Fowler stand in the doorway of S.R. Wells & Co., The Phrenological Cabinet, with two other men.
Image credit: Fowler and Wells families papers, #97. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

While the Fowlers gallivanted around America on lengthy lecture tours, who was left to take care of the family business? Samuel R. Wells oversaw the publishing side of The Phrenological Cabinet, but it was primarily the three men’s wives who took on the managerial and sometimes medical responsibilities within the office. Phrenology allowed women a sense of autonomy by allowing them a better understanding of their own mind and body, and for many women phrenology was a socially acceptable entry point to begin to seek out scientific knowledge.  Abigail Fowler-Chumos, wife of Orson Fowler, became “Orson’s business manager, property manager, publisher, and phrenologist-in-training” [3]. Charlotte Fowler Wells, wife of Samuel Wells and sister to the Fowlers, “was the firm’s longstanding and highly respected business manager” and was even known as the “Mother of Phrenology” [3]. Lydia Fowler Wells, wife of Lorenzo Fowler, “was the second woman to receive an M.D. in the USA, after [British] Elizabeth Blackwell,” making her the first American woman to receive an M.D. [4]. When it came to the business of phrenology, middle-class American women were not only the number one consumers; they ran the show. 

Lydia Folger Fowler, M. D, was the first American female doctor of medicine. She was also the first female professor at an American medical college.
Image credit: “The Late Mrs. Lydia F. Fowler, M. D.” Wheaton College, c. 1880. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lydia_Folger_Fowler.jpg#metadata

During the Civil War, women stepped up to run their households in their husbands’ absences. Women were not about to let go of their newfound autonomy during the following Gilded Age, and phrenology was one of the earliest scientific fields in which women could practice and participate. You would be surprised to learn how progressive the Fowlers were as they “combined the business of phrenology with the work of reform, linking the science to temperance, dress reform, diet reform, water-cure and women’s rights” [4]. 

You can learn more about phrenology and women’s role in the field in the “Know Thyself” virtual exhibition.

Thirteen complete issues of The Phrenological Journal and Life Illustrated are now available as digital editions of the Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr. Popular Psychology Magazine Collection.

Sources Used:

  1. Morse, Minna Scherlinder. “Facing a Bumpy History,” Smithsonian Magazine, 1997 Oct. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/facing-a-bumpy-history-144497373/
  2. “Orson S. Fowler,” The Phrenological Journal and Life Illustrated, Vol. 84-85, pp. 196-198. 
  3. Lilleleht, Erica. “‘Assuming the Privilege’ of Bridging Divides,” History of Psychology, vol. 18, no. 4, 2015, pp. 414-432.
  4. Bittel, Carla. “Woman, Know Thyself: Producing and Using Phrenological Knowledge in 19th-Century America,” Centaurus, 19 April 2014, pp. 104-130.

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The events of Summer 2020 have no doubt had a profound impact on the work and perspective of arts and culture institutions across the United States. Protests, still ongoing, against the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black civilians by police have placed a national spotlight on the systems that enforce racial injustice in this country. Countless institutions, including the Cummings Center, have taken this opportunity to reflect upon representations of racial diversity and civil unrest in their collections, and to use those representations as a means of furthering dialogue and providing a historical background for our tumultuous present.

However, highlighting diversity and historical relevance in material collections is not enough to address the inequalities that impact Black Americans in their daily lives. We must all come to terms with how our own ongoing actions contribute to racial inequality in our institutions and in the communities that we serve. It is essential for us to take a proactive role in recognizing and addressing these issues.

The Cummings Center for the History of Psychology stands against social injustice, including all forms of racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, and transphobia. We recognize that there is a long way to go in fostering true equity, inclusivity, and diversity within our institution and the larger fields of psychology and museum education. In order to work toward a more equitable future and to specifically address anti-Black racism, we are committed to carrying out the following ongoing actions:

  • We will conduct racial equity impact assessments for all major institutional decisions and programming going forward.
  • We will devote our time and resources to the greater representation of Black individuals and historic perspectives in our collections and programming.
  • We have formed a committee which will meet monthly to discuss the promotion of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion and the creation of specific goals and initiatives.

These are merely the first steps in a long-term process of actively challenging our own perspectives and combating racial inequity. Though thorough and widespread changes to the fields and industries in which we work cannot happen overnight, we hope that our actions going forward will contribute to a more equitable environment for the next generation of psychologists, archivists, and museum professionals.

The events of this year have undeniably shifted priorities around issues of diversity and inclusion, but their importance transcends this moment in history. Black lives have always mattered, and they always will. We are dedicated to carrying out this principle within our institution and within our community.

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contributed by Tony Pankuch (Archives Assistant)

Since beginning my work as a staff member of the CCHP earlier this year, much of my focus has been directed toward the increased accessibility of our museum and archival resources. Though changes to the design and content of museum exhibits are primarily long-term projects for our team, I have been able to work with my colleagues to develop a number of informational resources for museum visitors relating to the accessibility of our physical facilities.

We will begin publishing most of these resources when the museum reopens, but for right now, I’d like to give you a preview of what you can expect to see.

Preview of the CCHP accessibility web page, featuring an Accessibility and Inclusion Statement.
Preview of the CCHP Accessibility page.

Accessibility Webpage

My colleagues and I have worked to compile information on the CCHP’s current state of accessibility into a single location on our website. This page includes an Accessibility & Inclusion Statement that will guide our future efforts and contact information for all accessibility-related inquiries. The page also includes information on the Museums For All initiative, which will provide reduced admission to guests presenting a state-issued EBT card at the admissions desk. Within this space, we have striven to be honest about the current realities of the museum in regards to physical accessibility.

Unlike the resources below, the Accessibility page is available now.

Preview of the CCHP Visitor’s Guide, featuring an image of the museum entrance and the guide’s “Exploring the Museum” section.
Preview of the CCHP Visitor’s Guide.

Visitor’s Guide

A Visitor’s Guide will be available online for those interested in visiting the National Museum of Psychology and Institute for Human Science and Culture galleries. This guide will provide visitors with detailed information on travel, parking, physical facilities, and museum content. Photos will be included to illustrate all parts of the museum experience.

Preview of the National Museum of Psychology maps, side-by-side. Icons on the second map show the location of different types of exhibits.
Preview of the Museum Map. Left: Standard Map; Right: Detailed Sensory Map.

Museum Map

In addition to the Visitor’s Guide, maps of the National Museum of Psychology will be offered on our website and in print form at the museum’s admissions desk. These maps will exist in two varieties. The first is a basic map detailing the layout of the museum and the location of key amenities, such as restrooms and seating. The second will include more detailed information on the locations of hands-on exhibits and displays, audio sources and noisier areas, and audio/visual elements currently lacking closed captioning or alternative forms of access. This second map, along with the visitor’s guide, is designed to give visitors an idea of the sensory atmosphere and limitations of the museum in its current state.

These initial resources are centered on offering clear, accurate, and easy-to-find information regarding the accessibility of the CCHP. Moving forward, we will begin working toward the improvement of our physical facilities and digital offerings.

Of course, the most important people in all of this are you, our patrons and visitors. What can we do to make the CCHP more accessible for you? What information would you like to see on our website and social media? Let us know in the comments, or email us at ahap@uakron.edu.

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contributed by Rhonda Rinehart

Humans are perhaps the only species that finds a need to not only define what love is, but to categorize it, measure it – and dare I say – celebrate it with cheap chocolates and stuffed animals.  In our search for meaning, love is at the top of the list.  And for all of our searching, we have a really hard time agreeing on what love is or how it’s manifested.

But wow do we try.

So let’s take a look at some highlights from Cummings Center collections on the topic of love and its many iterations.

 

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Below are several visitor answers to “What Makes Us Human?” exhibit at the National Museum of Psychology at the Cummings Center.

 

The National Museum of Psychology invites museum visitors to delve into the human condition in an exhibit titled, “What Makes Us Human?”  Visitors are encouraged to write their thoughts and comments on what makes homo sapiens tick, and what separates us from other animals.  To date, there are 104 responses that include “love”, 63 instances of “empathy”, and 5 responses each for “sex” and “sympathy”.  There are no instances of Valentine’s Day yet. 

People have a lot to say about relationships, and where love fits into the human experience.  Feelings of love, empathy, sympathy, passion, and other forms of strong emotions and their manifestations toward other living (or not) things are quite arguably only attributed to people.  But don’t let that stop you from weighing in on this question!

 

Will This Be othe Test?

The Cummings Center test collection contains thousands of tests and assessments designed to help understand and determine human capabilities and functioning.  From popular self-assessment quizzes designed more for entertainment than self-discovery, to professional assessment testing, you can find most anything to satisfy your curiosity about yourself and others.

tests1_WM

This PsychoQuiz seems to attempt to determine a jealous personality type rather than how romantic a person might be.  How Romantic Are You?  From a regular column in Look magazine, 1947.

tests2_WM

With drawings by Walter Miles, this fill-in-the-blank story test boasts a battle of the sexes scenario with a twist answer!  Read the small print below the test to find out the answer.  How Well Do You Know the Opposite Sex? PsychoQuiz. From a regular column in Look magazine, 1947.

 

Can We Talk?

If it’s at a conference venue, and it’s about love and attraction – then yes, let’s talk!  The International Conference on Love & Attraction, held in 1977 at the University of Swansea in Wales, tackled such diverse and complex topics as sexual dysfunction, personality characteristics of types of desire, contraception, relationship equity, and non-verbal intimacy.

conference1_WM

International Conference on Love & Attraction program, G. Marion Kinget papers, Box M3307

 

Conference participant, G. Marion Kinget, discussed “a crisis” in the conceptions of modern romantic love as it pertained at the time to redefining gender roles.

 

conference2_WM

International Conference on Love & Attraction, G. Marion Kinget papers, Box M3307

 

Is It All Just Sex?

Nope.  Romantic love is the biggest part of selling Valentine’s Day, but certainly not the only kind of love to be celebrated.  So tell your step-mom, your kid, your dad, your friend and anyone else that means a lot to you how much you care for them.  Hug your pet, therapy animal, shelter animal, or any sentient being that brings you joy.  Talk to your plants if you want.  It’s been said that they respond to verbal communication, too!

parrot_valentine_WM

Postcard from the David B. Campbell postcard collection, Institute for Human Science and Culture, Drs. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology

 

 

 

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contributed by Rose Stull & Laura Loop, students in the Museums & Archives Certificate Program.

The students in Foundations of Museums and Archives II have been working hard all semester, and invite you to attend our exhibit: How Animal Subjects Shaped Psychology, which opens on May 9 from 2:30-4:30pm.

The term “animal subjects” might make you think of those red-eyed, white rats in a laboratory. The history of animal subjects used in psychology is actually much broader than rats. Psychologists have conducted research using birds, insects, fish, and much more in addition to rats. Animal subjects have played an essential role in understanding “the basic principles and processes that underlie the behavior of all creatures, both human and nonhuman.” (Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Animals, American Psychological Association)

The Archives for the History of American Psychology houses many artifacts that were used in research with animal subjects. Some of the objects are part of larger collections with plenty of archival and primary source materials to help us identify them. However, others had very little information to begin with, and it was up to us to figure it out. The hardest part for some of the objects was just figuring out what it was. Are you able to figure out what these objects could be?

1

What is this rack of droppers?

2

Meat powder?

We had a general idea what most of the objects were used for but we still needed more. What was the object used for? Who used it? What kind of research were they doing? What were the findings of their research? We started in the archives and found a lot of what we were looking for, then expanded our research elsewhere to fill in the gaps.

Some of us learned about the history of experimental psychology for the first time. There are so many fabulous photographs.

3

Gilbert Gottlieb ducklings

For example, Gilbert Gottlieb’s work with ducklings in his years of imprinting research has produced a multitude of amazing photographs (such as the photo shown above), which will be on display alongside many other archival materials regarding animal subjects.  A great example of this was the Animal Behavior Enterprises and their IQ Zoo. To learn more about this interesting tourist attraction and to see if you correctly identified these objects, the exhibit will be open through summer 2019.

4

The fortune-telling chicken of the IQ Zoo

Working alongside our classmates with the wonderful staff at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology has given us opportunity for hands-on experience that will give us better advantage in our respective fields of study at The University of Akron, and after graduation when we’re job hunting.  We are proud to invite everybody to join us for the opening of How Animal Subjects Shaped Psychology.

Opening Reception:

May 9th, 2019 from 2:30-4:30 pm

Free admission for the opening event. *Regular admission fees for the National Museum of Psychology during opening.

Location:

Institute for Human Science & Culture Galleries, RDWY 4th 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

Contact: ihsc@uakron.edu ; 330-972-7285

This project fulfills the requirements for students in 1900:302 Foundations of Museums and Archives II at the Institute for Human Science and Culture. Contact Dr. Jodi Kearns jkearns@uakron.edu for information about the program.

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contributed by Tony Pankuch and Arianna Iliff. Tony is an undergraduate student assistant, and Arianna is a graduate student assistant at the CCHP.

Last Monday, the World Health Organization released an early version of the upcoming ICD-11 to the public, the first major revision of the organization’s health and disease guidelines in 18 years. Included in this edition are two victories for the LGBTQ community: the removal of gender identity disorder and the reclassification of gender incongruence, alterations made with the expressed intent of destigmatizing the lives of transgender and non-binary individuals.

This change comes five years after the removal of the gender identity disorder diagnosis from the DSM, a similar diagnostic manual utilized exclusively within the United States. Traditionally, the DSM has followed in the footsteps of the ICD, changing to reflect the latter publication’s broader directions. So why has this dynamic seemingly been reversed with the subject of gender identity?

The DSM-I, shown in an exhibit at the National Museum of Psychology. This first edition, published in 1952, categorized homosexuality as a “sexual deviation” and a “sociopathic personality disturbance.”

Diagnoses of homosexuality and gender identity first appeared in the ICD in 1948 and 1965, respectively. Both homosexuality and “transvestitism,” as it was then labeled, were categorized as sexual deviances. Their inclusion validated purported “cures” for homosexuality and gender non-conformance, including drug and electroshock therapies, castration, and lobotomy.

Popular psychology magazines such as “Sexology” sought to find both causes and cures for the “deviation” of homosexuality. Source: Ludy T. Benjamin Popular Psychology Magazine Collection.

The DSM-II, published in 1968, followed with matching diagnoses. However, with the rise of gay and transgender activism in the United States (remembered notably through the 1969 Stonewall Riots), the American publication became embroiled in controversy. A major protest against the American Psychiatric Association in 1970, combined with the efforts of researchers like Evelyn Hooker (1907-1996), led to a 1973 revision of the DSM-II and the gradual removal of homosexual diagnoses in the following decades.

Since then, the DSM has tended to be one step ahead of the ICD in diagnosing sexuality and gender identity. Psychology is a science of immense societal implications and an agent of social change, given its ability to classify and often stigmatize entire livelihoods. Even today, following the release of the ICD-11, activists have expressed a desire for further changes to the diagnosis of gender incongruence. The shifting nature of the DSM’s outlook on LGBTQ identities reminds us of this human element to psychology. The science, built upon a desire to better understand our human nature, continues to thrive not just through lab methods, but also through engagement with a diverse range of human perspectives.

The National Museum of Psychology features a unique exhibit on researcher Evelyn Hooker and the evolving diagnosis of homosexuality within the DSM.

This is the first in a series of blogs regarding the relationship between sexuality, gender identity, and psychology. Watch this space for additional posts.

Citations:

Branson, Helen Kitchen. “Can we prevent HOMOSEXUAL DEVELOPMENT?” Sexology, Nov. 1954, 245.

Drescher, Jack. “Queer diagnoses revisited: The past and future of homosexuality and gender diagnoses in DSM and ICD.” International Review of Psychiatry, vol. 27, no. 5, 2015, pp. 386-395. http://ezproxy.uakron.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=psyh&AN=2016-08809-004&site=ehost-live

Herek, Gregory M. “Sexual Orientation Differences as Deficits: Science and Stigma in the History of American Psychology.” Perspectives on Psychological Science, vol. 5, no. 6, 2010, 693-699. https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/41613587.pdf

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-contributed by Cathy Faye.

Humor me, here, with a little Thursday quiz:  what do a Nobel Prize, Wonder Woman, and hand guns all have in common? If you guessed “psychology,” you win! Alas, I probably should have tried harder not to give away the answer in the blog title.

Another thing they have in common: they will be featured in the exhibits at the National Museum of Psychology, opening in Akron in 2018!

The new National Museum of Psychology will take up the entire first floor of the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology.

The Museum is almost fully designed. We will soon begin fabrication of exhibits!

I’m super excited about this museum. But, when I tell my friends and family about it, they all give me this same puzzled look: what on earth is in a psychology museum?? They generally seem to think that the idea of such a museum is strange, that the history of psychology is not very interesting, or that they won’t really understand the stories inside such a museum.

Here’s the thing, though: psychology is EVERYWHERE. The achievement and intelligence tests you took in college, the way you discipline your children, the design of your cell phone keypad, the things your dog learns at obedience class. Yup, psychological ideas, research, and practice went into all of those things.

 

 

In the 1950s, psychologist Alphonse Chapanis researched telephone keypads used by telephone operators. Operators made the least errors entering numbers when numbers on the keypad were arranged in a 3 by 3 display. This finding influenced the design of the telephone keypads we use today.

 

Group testing of intelligence took off in the United States after World War I, when “psychological examiners” created and administered intelligence tests to more than 1 million recruits.

Psychologists Keller Breland and Marian Breland Bailey and biologist Robert Bailey used psychological principles of learning and behavior to train animals in the 1950s. Their work is still used in animal training today.

But psychology’s history goes beyond cell phones and dog tricks; it is fully embedded in our social worlds and our identities. Psychological research was part of the landmark Supreme Court decision that ended legal racial segregation in the US in 1954. It was a producer and product of women’s equality as early as the 1900s. And psychological research helped to change perceptions of homosexuality in the 1970s.  For more than a century, psychologists have been exploring the human experience and their work has ultimately changed our lived experiences.

Psychologist and feminist Leta Hollingworth published research that supported women’s equality in the early 1900s.

 

Psychologist Mamie Phipps Clark testifying in the Brown v. Board of Education case that made racial segregation in schools unconstitutional. 

The National Museum of Psychology tells this story. It tells the story of psychology’s history, which is essentially a story of all these ideas and practices—both big and small—that have shaped and continue to shape our everyday lives. You engage with psychology everywhere, every day, often without realizing it.

So, when my friends and family ask me, “what on earth is in a psychology museum?” I tell them all of this.  They are patient people!

My mom and my aunt, visiting me at work to finally figure out what on earth is in a psychology museum.

So, a follow-up quiz. How are the Nobel Prize, Wonder Woman, and hand guns all linked to psychology? Some of you with a penchant for history may already know. If so, share your knowledge in the comments! As for the rest of you, you’ll just have to visit the National Museum of Psychology to find out! Stay tuned to our facebook page to find out when we’ll be ready to open the doors.

(Shameless plug: we sure could use your help raising the remainder of the funds to support fabrication and installation of the exhibits. Donations of all sizes are very, very, very welcome here. It’ll be worth it; I promise!)

 

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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.]

Postcard_rev_Page_1

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– Contributed by Jodi Kearns

Fall 2015 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Archives of the History of American Psychology. The April 2015 book-of-the-month selection pays tribute to this rich history  that CCHP staff and students have dedicated the past 50 years to preserving. In 2015, the mission of the Cummings Center is to support access to the complete historical record of psychology and related human sciences in order to foster understanding of the human condition.  The Illustrated History of American Psychology, 2nd edition, published 17 years ago, was an early project in providing access to the historical record of American psychology.

Populated largely by photographs and digitized materials from CCHP collections and written by the co-founders of the Archives, Drs. John A. Popplestone and Marion White McPherson, the Illustrated History describes in words and illustrations with more than 350 pictures the (at the time) just over 100-year story of American psychology . The book visits experimental psychology laboratories, writings and works of prominent figures, military testing for intelligence and vocation, and more.

The photographs and objects from the Archives in the Illustrated History are still in the CCHP collections today.

exhibit in Museum of Psychology showcasing artifacts from CCHP collections

exhibit in Museum of Psychology showcasing artifacts from CCHP collections

The phrenology bust on page 37, for example, is on exhibit in the Museum of Psychology. (Can you find it in the above gallery photograph?)

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, page 37

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, page 37

So, too, is the pseudophone now on display in the Museum depicted in this 1928 image on page 86. (Do you see it in the gallery photo?)

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, page 86

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, page 86

Additionally, images in the Illustrated History of manuscript papers and testing materials remain in the CCHP collections and available to researchers.

An Illustrated History of American Psychology,  page 127

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, page 127

An Illustrated History of American Psychology,  pages 148-149

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, pages 148-149

Dorothy Gruich, CCHP Coordinator, helped Drs. Popplestone and McPherson put the first edition together while she was an undergraduate student assistant at the Archives.

Please visit the University of Akron Press for information about other CCHP publications.

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-Contributed by Vanessa Facemire. 

Ever wonder what your personality says about you? Well, there’s a test for that. What about your IQ or achievement? There’s a test for that too. Would you like to be able to have someone tell you what career to choose? Well, you’re in luck because there’s a test for that too! For more than a century, psychologists have designed and administered tests and measures to assess many different kinds of human abilities and characteristics.

The history of psychological testing is long and varied. It has roots in ancient China; where the emperor instated proficiency testing on topics such as civil law and fiscal policies for public officials. From phrenology to vocational testing, scientists and practitioners have been fascinated with developing new ways to “measure the mind”. Historically, psychological tests have been used in very diverse ways across a variety of settings.

IMLS_Logo_BlackThe Cummings Center for the History of Psychology is featuring a new exhibit called “Measuring the Mind” that showcases some early ways that psychologists have measured different abilities and characteristics. Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the “Museums for America” program, the exhibit gives visitors a chance to see and interact with tests and measures dating from the nineteenth century to the present.

The exhibit features a 1921 home economics test for 8th grade girls that measures knowledge of “household arts” such as clothing care and repair, childcare, and budgeting. The 1919 Woodsworth Personal Data Sheet, which measures potential emotional difficulties among WWI recruits, was specifically designed to identify soldiers who might be at risk for shell shock, which we now know as post-traumatic stress disorder. A black-and-white 1935 film depicting the different tests used to measure mechanical aptitude among potential employees is also highlighted.

Intro

The exhibit also features a variety of interactive displays. Want to test your mental acuity? Check out the weights discrimination test used in the nineteenth and early twentieth century as a way of examining the relationship between the physical world and the mental world.

Weights

Do you wonder about your motor learning ability? Check out the finger maze, developed in 1928, used to select employees for jobs requiring fine motor skills.

Finger Maze 2

Want to measure your intelligence? Check out the form board intelligence test from the nineteenth century and time yourself to see how quickly you can complete the board. Form boards were used in a variety of situations including: measuring mental capacity and nonverbal intelligence in children, as part of a battery of tests used on immigrants at Ellis Island, and during WWI to test intelligence among illiterate recruits.

Form Board 1

Visitors can also test their intelligence through the Army Alpha interactive display. Developed in WWI, the Army Alpha was the first intelligence test designed to be administered to large groups. This test was used to test new army recruits and by the end of the war, more than 1 million recruits had been tested.

Army Alpha

For more information about these tests and many more pay a visit to the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology to check out our “Measuring the Mind” exhibit. You can also schedule a research visit to examine our vast collection of psychological tests and measures.

 

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