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Posts Tagged ‘Archives of the History of American Psychology’

 contributed by Tony Pankuch.

When I set out to write a post for the CCHP blog in celebration of Pride Month, I knew that I wanted to focus on documents written by rather than about members of the LGBTQ+ community. Like many marginalized groups, LGBTQ+ individuals are often depicted as passive participants in our own struggle for equal rights. Without diminishing the important work of allies such as Dr. Evelyn Hooker, it is important to remember that there were also psychologists within the LGBTQ+ community speaking up and working tirelessly in support of themselves and their loved ones.

So, imagine my delight upon finding numerous materials relating to the Association of Gay Psychologists (AGP).

The AGP was created in 1973 in response to the 1972 Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA). Founding member Dr. Steven Morin provided some background on these events in the AGP’s inaugural newsletter:

Association of Gay Psychologists Newsletter. June, 1973

NOTES ON THE FORMATION OF AGP (Steve Morin)

At the 80th Annual Convention of the APA in 1972, the only scientific discussion of homosexuality was presented by division 13 in a symposium entitled "Psychotherapy and Homosexuality in the Seventies: Divergent Views." The panel was chaired by Robert A. Harper, Washington D.C.; other participants were Hedda Bolgar, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles, California; Albert Ellis, Institute for Advanced Study in Relational Psychotherapy, New York, New York; 
and Harold Greenwald, San Diego, California. 
TOPIC AREAS: Some of the topic areas covered were: Are homosexuals sick? Should sexual orientation be changed? Which psychotherapy approach shows the most promise for treating homosexuals? Are treatment and prognosis different under changed social conditions for female as well as male homosexuals? 
NO GAY PANELISTS: The panel included no gay psychologists as members, and the chairperson remarked during the proceedings that although this was unfortunate, the panel had no knowledge of gay psychologists within APA and/or were not willing to request that 
any psychologist jeapordize his/her career by making an appearance as a homosexual on the panel. 
LANGUAGE AND LABELING: The language and labeling used by the panel indicated an extremely low level of consciousness about gay issues. The chairperson was overheard referring to the symposium as the "Homo Panel". The panel's general knowledge about gay life styles was minimal at best. The audience, which included a large number of gay persons, was outraged by the entire symposium. During the open discussion period which followed, many gay people stood to protest the lack of representation on the panel and the general nature of comments that had been made. 
Alternatives: The 1972 APA had very little to offer in terms or alternatives to the opinions expressed by the distinguished clinicians on the panel. Chuck Silverstein from Identity House in New York had a series of organized discussions in his suite during the week. When I arrived for one session, Chuck was busy organizing a protest with the tranvestites of Hotel Street. I am not sure of the exact extent of these meetings nor of their eventual outcome.
AFTERMATH: That evening and the evenings that followed, a 
number of gay psychologists met at a gay bar adjacent to the Convention Headquarters. Most of the people there had been to the afternoon symposium, and the depression that many felt earlier in the afternoon had been transformed either to sarcastic humor or genuine anger. This was my first APA, and I was just feeling disappointed and tired.
Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) Archives, Box 754, Folder 6

The panel [on homosexuality] contained no gay psychologists as members, and the chairperson remarked during the proceedings that although this was unfortunate, the panel had no knowledge of gay psychologists within the APA and/or were not willing to request that any psychologist jeapordize [sic] his/her career by making an appearance as a homosexual on the panel.

That evening and the evenings that followed, a
number of gay psychologists met at a gay bar adjacent to the Convention Headquarters. … This was my first APA, and I was just feeling disappointed and tired.

1972 was a big year for psychology, psychiatry, and the gay liberation movement. It was the year that Dr. John E. Fryer, otherwise known as “Dr. Anonymous,” concealed his identity to speak at the American Psychiatric Association’s panel on homosexuality. Tensions over the continued classification of homosexuality as a mental illness within the DSM-II were nearing their peak. Take a look at the language used by Boston’s Gay Male Liberation in their 1972 statement to the Eastern Psychological Association:

Statement & Demands of Boston's Gay Male Liberation to the Eastern Psychological Association, April, 1972
Eastern Psychological Association records, Box 1037, Folder 3

In presenting demands to you, members of the EPA, we compromise in asking anything other than your immediate disbanding and the complete destruction of bourgeois clinical institutions as well as the positivist, behavioralist orientation of modern psychology.

Strong words. It was in this post-Stonewall environment of vocal activism that Morin, along with Dr. Martin Rogers and Barbara Bryant of Sacramento State College, set out to form the AGP.

So what did they do? To get the rest of the narrative, we can turn to the January 1975 Newsletter of Psychologists for Social Action. It’s the “Gay Issue.”

Cover of the Newsletter of Psychologists for Social Action. Features a cartoon of a skeleton in a large floral hat exiting a closet. Headline: "Gay Psychology Coming Out!"
Cummings Center for the History of Psychology Special Interest, “Psychologists for Social Action – Newsletters”

Personal aside: As a nonbinary trans person, I’ve never felt more represented in the archives than I do by this newsletter’s fanciful skeletons.

The newsletter contains a full history of the AGP up to that point.

Two-page spread of the Newsletter of Psychologists for Social Action. Features a cartoon skeleton stating "Of course, we know there are no Gay Psychologists." A crowd of skeletons respond: "Just wait till the next convention." "And who does he think is going to teach the Gay Studies program"

There’s a lot happening here, so let’s break it down piece by piece (setting the skeletons aside for the moment).

GAY CAUCUS 
A Gay Caucus met at the Western Psychological Association meetings in Anaheim in April 1973. There was considerable debate about issues concerning the Association of Gay Psychologists. While most of the SO people present urged the foundation of the organization, no consensus was reached about the name of the group, membership, or the goals of the organization. The Name: Association of Gay Psychologists of Gay Psychological Association or a more "neutral" name which would permit those individuals who are not ready to be public about their sexuality to join? Membership: only Ph.D. psychologists, or Masters level psychologists, too? Can Gay graduate students join? What about membership for para-professionals working in gay community service centers? Goals: Research, of course. Establishing a consulting network. Lobbying with APA and American Psychiatric Association. How politically involved should the organization be? Would involvement detract from its professional status? Nothing was resolved until the Fall APA meetings in Montreal.

The Western Psychological Association meetings of 1973 were the AGP’s first major planning session. As you can see above, things didn’t go smoothly. A number of issues arose, but one that stands out immediately is the concern over “outing” gay psychologists.

In the early 1970s, it was hard to speak out for gay liberation as an openly gay psychologist, because psychologists just weren’t supposed to be gay. Many in the profession sincerely viewed homosexuality as an illness incompatible with psychological or psychiatric practice. This is why John E. Fryer was forced to speak in disguise as “Dr. Anonymous” in 1972. Publicly outing himself would have amounted to the end of his career.

It took until the Fall 1973 APA Convention for the AGP to really come together. Here, they succeeded in making a radical improvement in gay representation:

NO MORE LIES 
Although the APA program had included sessions on Homosexuality in the past, and the organization has been subject to protests by Gay students and non-members, the Fall '73 convention was the first time that Lesbian and Gay male psychologists openly confronted their professional organization. A symposium, Homosexuals as Persons chaired by Dr. Martin Rogers, filled the room with 400 delegates. The First University based Gay Studies Program in the country was described by Barbara Bryant, masters candidate in psychology.
Dr. Steven Morin of California State College, San Bernadino argued that "there has been none of the work done for Gays that has been done for blacks and women, and no studies on methods of changing society's attitudes." Dr. Mark Freedman of San Francisco Northeast Community Mental Health Center discussed the successful Gay Counseling Service in his city. At the symposium, many psychologists in the audience stated they had learned more about Gay people during the symposium than during all of their graduate school training.

Day two got even better…

ZAP 'EM
During the second day of the convention, there was an "action" by 25 Lesbian and Gay male psychologists. Alerted by the Association of Women in Psychology that a film Behavior Therapy for Homosexuality was being shown, the Gay people contacted Dr. Richard Evans, in charge of APA' s film program and demanded a preview. Evans agreed after receiving assurances the film would not be stolen. Following the viewing the group worked through the night writing a critical statement entitled, A Clockwork Lavender? 
Immediately prior to the scheduled showing the statement was distributed to the 500 people present. Martin Rogers informed the audience that "the time has passed when APA can present programs about homosexually oriented persons without using Gay psychologists as consultants or discussants." 
He asked them to view the film critically and to focus on the points made in the statement. To the surprise of the Gays present, he received considerable applause. A guerilla theatre drama was staged after the film showing, with Jesse Miller, doctoral student at UC Berkeley parading in radical drag as Miss Demeanor, Playboy's APA Bunny and Mark Freedman in tow as her ''cured'' companion.

That’s right. The AGP responded to the offensive film Behavior Therapy for Homosexuality with not just a critical statement, but with a whole guerrilla drag performance. “Miss Demeanor, Playboy’s APA Bunny.” I am in awe.

From there, the AGP formulated a list of objectives for their organization and demands for the APA. Among their objectives was “to eliminate the conception of homosexuality as a clinical entity and encourage the reconceptualization of human sexuality in terms of its diversity and potential.”

Did they succeed? In part, yes.

DISORDERED, NOT DISORIERED, DISORDERED? 
There was no response from the APA for several months, and when a response did come from the Board of Directors, it was mostly evasive and shirking of responsibility for direct action on the demands. In the meantime, on December 15, 1973 the Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association voted to remove homosexuality from its list of psychiatric disorders. AGP knows this action was the direct result of pressure from Gay organizations on APA. For present actions, read on in this Newsletter.

The actions of the AGP and other Gay Liberation groups demonstrate the importance of direct action, visibility, and community in effecting social change. The collective action of these groups strengthened the voices of their individual members, allowing them to speak out openly for themselves. Their fate was no longer exclusively in the hands of their straight colleagues. Though there was still much more progress to be made for the LGBTQ+ community in the mental health fields (particularly for members of the transgender community), the 1973 removal of homosexuality from the DSM-II was a landmark accomplishment.

The AGP would continue to work for further progress for the LGBTQ+ community, and in 1983 changed its name to the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychologists (AGLP). Their full archival records are currently held by Cornell University Library. Steve Morin went on to became an important figure in HIV/AIDs research, serving as director of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS). You can read a 2017 retrospective on his career here.

So in the future, if anyone ever tries to tell you…

Cartoon of a seated skeleton stating, "Of course, we know there are no gay psychologists."

…give them a little history lesson about Dr. Morin and the AGP.

If you’d like to see more of the 1975 “Gay Issue” of the Newsletter of Psychologists for Social Action, you can read the full document here.

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  • contributed by Lizette Royer Barton.

Dr. David B. Baker, Margaret Clark Morgan Executive Director of the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology, is retiring.

Let’s recap shall we?

Dave came to The University of Akron in 1999 to take over as the director of the Archives of the History of American Psychology when founding director Dr. John Popplestone retired. At that time the archives, AHAP as it was known, was housed in the basement of an old department store, the Polsky Building. No world class reading room. No National Museum of Psychology. No hands-on museums and archives certificate program for students. No online History of Psychology course.

Heck, there weren’t even windows.

But the artifacts and the manuscript collections were there and Dave’s vision was there. And in his 21 years at The University of Akron, Dr. David Baker was able to turn his vision for the archives into a reality.

Dave’s dedication, leadership, and relentless fundraising efforts produced the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology – a world-renowned archival research center and home to the Institute for Human Science and Culture and the National Museum of Psychology

Dr. David B. Baker’s legacy is secure.

And sure, professional success and accolades are wonderful. But what really counts in life is whether a person is kind, honest, genuine, and a friend. And Dave was all those things, and more, to so many. A mentor, a colleague, a professor, a friend, a boss, a golf buddy. Dave is the real deal and we sure are going to miss him.

We asked many of his close friends and colleagues to record a short video to thank Dave and wish him well on his retirement. As you can see from the resulting video, a lot of people are going to miss him.

All that’s left for Dave to do now is ride – or boat – off into the sunset.

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contributed by Lizette Royer Barton.

Our online repository recently got a face lift. Did you notice?

And since many of us are cooped up at home due to COVID-19 we might as well do some searching together in our pj’s. Feel free to grab a cold beer and some cheez-itz (yes, I am very high brow) and join me for some archival search strategies!

Here is the new homepage.

This is much too tiny for you to see. Just go to collections.uakron.edu and see for yourself.

A couple things right off the bat. Some “housekeeping items” if you will.

The platform we use for our repository is shared by other units on campus. You’ll notice a list of UA departments across the top – UA DigColl Home, Cummings Center (Hey! That’s us!), Archival Services (The University Archives. NOT us!), and University Libraries.

And since that is the case, an ADVANCED SEARCH is your friend. Go ahead. Click on your new friend, Advanced Search.

Advanced searching. Woohoo! Treat yourself to handful of cheez-itz.

In the image below you can see that each collection in the repository is “clicked” and here is where you want to start unclicking the collections you do NOT want to search. The collections inside the red square are all CCHP collections, aka collections housed in the Archives of the History of American Psychology.

The collections inside this red box are housed within the Institute for Human Science and Culture (IHSC). The IHSC is the “educational arm” of the Cummings Center and is housed on the third and fourth floors of the Center. The Campbell Postcards and the Forman Collection of Bags are both used onsite by students in our Museums & Archives Certificate Program for real hands on experience in museum exhibition. Very cool.

The “What Makes Us Human” database is fun. The final exhibit of the National Museum of Psychology asks visitors to answer the question, “What makes us human?” Visitors write down their answers and leave them for others to enjoy. Then we scan them and upload them here for everyone to enjoy. My very favorite answer of all time is “pants.”

And finally, PsycCRITIQUES. We host PsycCRITIQUES (virtually) and you can access over 43,000 articles and reviews published in PsycCRITIQUES. Word to the wise though: ALWAYS unclick this unless you want to search there specifically because no matter what search term you use it’s likely you’ll get hits in PsycCRITIQUES.

PsycCRITIQUES – my friend and enemy when it comes to research

The bread and butter of the CCHP is the manuscript collections aka the personal papers of psychologists and the organizational records of Psychological Organizations. The Finding Aids database is what you want if you’re interested in manuscript collections.

Be sure only the finding aids collection is clicked and then hit save.

Then at the bottom of the page you can further narrow your search. I just did a blog about Anne Anastasi. You could search across “all fields” for Anastasi which will provide results for any time her name pops up in any manuscript collection. Or, if you’re interested in her manuscript papers specifically click “title” since the name of the psychologist is in the title, and type in “Anastasi.”

Searching across all the manuscript collections for “Anastasi” bring back 16 hits. And check out some new cool information that comes up with your search in this new interface.

All the collections pop up alphabetically on the right and you can scroll through them. And on the left you can see the titles and creators of collections. Sometimes the creator and title of a collection are the same but not always. Anyway, you can see right away what collections are included in the search and you can click now or scroll through the finding aids on the right.

One last thing about finding aids. Say you’ve decided to scroll through the Anne Anastasi finding aid so you click her name from the list.

In the old contentDM interface you could immeditaly start scrolling through the finding aid but now you have to click that icon with the arrows up on the right hand side. That will open the finding aid in a new window and make it searchable.

You can either enter something specific in that search bar or you can scroll through the finding aid waiting for something to pop out at you.

Start browsing. Have some fun. Take the first steps of a new research project. Take notes (collection name, box number, folder number) and get back to us once the Archives opens up again.

In the meantime, back to my beer and cheez-itz.

Monitor and keyboard unearthed from the depths of the Barton attic. This ol’ lady just can’t search properly on a laptop.

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– contributed by Lizette Royer Barton.

I have to start by saying that every day I am in awe of young people, both in the history of psychology and their presence in the pressing issues of today. Change is slow, painfully slow at times, and thankfully we have young people who are willing to fight the long, painful fights from which we eventually all benefit.

In digging through the SPSSI records recently I unearthed some materials regarding the early history of the Black Students Psychological Association (BSPA), a group of young Black psychology students who took matters into their own hands and demanded change. In honor of Black History month and in honor of young people, specifically young people of color, let’s talk a little bit about BSPA and recognize the group’s importance in the history of psychology.

SPSSI_Box743_Folder6_BSPA1971ConventionProgram_BlackUnityImage

BSPA 1971 National Convention program,  SPSSI records, box 743, folder 6

You may have heard the story the story about a group of Black psychology students disrupting George Miller‘s presidential address at the 1969 American Psychological Association’s annual convention in Washington DC. Students disrupting the “old guard” makes for a good story after all, but what happened after that? Heck, what happened before that?

Gary Simpkins was a undergraduate psychology student at California State College in Los Angeles (now known as California State University, Los Angeles) when he took a psychology course with Dr. Charles Thomas, a founding member of the Association of Black Psychology (ABPsi) who at the time was serving as co-chairman of the group. With Dr. Thomas serving as a faculty adviser Simpkins and his fellow students started the Black Students Psychological Association.

According to Simpkins & Simpkins (2009), early BSPA meetings took place at Thomas’ home and a community mental health center, and Thomas arranged for members of ABPsi to meet regularly with the students. With the support of ABPSi, BSPA decided to attend the Western Psychological Association (WPA) convention in Vancouver, British Columbia June 18-21, 1969.

The image below is a May 1969 letter from BSPA secretary-treasurer Rita Boags to SPSSI executive secretary Caroline Weichlein seeking travel funds for BSPA members to attend WPA in Vancouver. Notice Boags hand written “Dr. Zimbardo” in the first paragraph. Following receipt of the letter, SPSSI secretary-treasurer Robert Hefner contacted Zimbardo to inform him that SPSSI did not have the funds for the request.  The CCHP also has a copy of Philip Zimbardo’s June 9, 1969 response to Rita Boags in which he informs her that SPSSI is unable to grant the funds.

 

SPSSI_743_folder1_BSPA_TwoPageLetter_WATERMARKED

SPSSI records, box 743, folder 1

But funding aside, let’s take a closer look at Boags’ letter and BSPA’s goals for attending the WPA convention at the top of page 2.

SPSSI_743_folder1_BSPA_TwoPageLetter_CROP2

Boags to Weichlein, page 2, SPSSI records, box 743, folder 1

Simpkins & Simpkins (2009) wrote that Thomas helped to get them onto the convention program and they scheduled a panel titled, “Racism in Organized Psychology.”

I took to the WPA records and located the 1969 program.

WPA_490_folder1_1969_programcover_WATERMARK

Western Psychological Association records, box 490, folder 1

I scoured the program but did not find a panel titled, “Racism in Organized Psychology.” However I did find two sessions of interest – Social II: Black Americans and Challenge and Change in 1969: Black Perspective in Psychology.

WPA_490_folder1_1969_program_BSPA1_CROP

WPA_490_folder1_1969_program_BSPA2_CROP

1969 WPA convention program, WPA records, box 490, folder 1

Perhaps the panel Simpkins is referring to was ABPsi’s nearly three-hour symposium, “Challenge of Change in 1969: Black Perspective in Psychology.”

Did BSPA members present their papers during this time?

WPA_490_folder1_1969_program_BSPA2_ABPsiPanel)CROP

1969 WPA convention program, WPA records, box 490, folder 1

From the materials housed here at the CCHP I could not determine whether or not that was the case. Does anyone know?

BSPA seems to have been founded in either later 1968 or early 1969. The annual Western Psychological Association convention was June 18-21, 1969. The American Psychological Association convention in Washington DC – the meeting where Gary Simpkins and BSPA members interrupted APA president George Miller’s presidential address – was in September of 1969. Those students got to work quickly!

BSPA addressed the APA Council the following day (September 2, 1969) and outlined five specific concerns and their plans for implementation: (1) the recruitment of Black students into psychology; (2) the recruitment of Black faculty members into psychology; (3) the gathering and dissemination of information concerning the availability of various sources of financial aid for Black students; (4) the design and provision of programs offering meaningful community experience for Black students in the field of psychology; and (5) the research and development of terminal programs at all degree levels that would equip Black students with the tools necessary to function within the Black community.

You can go out on your own and find what happened next regarding APA (start here, Baker page 492). The gist is that APA President George Miller and President-Elect George Albee agreed to meet with members of BSPA and ABPsi to work out details. They met in Watts in Southern California for two days and in October a specific plan was reported back to APA Council.

BSPA members Gary Simpkins and Phillip Raphael wrote a report detailing the events at the 1969 annual convention, the meeting with APA Council, and the subsequent meeting with Miller and Albee. It was published as a “special insert” in the American Psychologist (1970) –  Black Students, APA, and the Challenge of Change

SPSSI_743_folder6_BlackStudentsAPAChallengeOfChange_WATERMARK

SPSSI records, box 743, folder 6

One year later, the Black Students Psychological Association had a national office in Washington, DC and they held their first national conference in Atlanta, GA.

SPSSI_743_folder6_BSPA_1971conventionprogram_cover_WATERMARK

BSPA 1971 National Convention program,  SPSSI records, box 743, folder 6

The program was innovative and really cool.

There were team activities, special activities, and specific area activities organized around the following themes: politics, education, religion, housing and urban renewal, job training and employment, drug education, mental health, culture and the arts, crime and delinquency, our aged [senior citizens], family, mass media and communication, research methodology, and economics. The specific area activities were held all around Atlanta with local leaders hosting and participating.

SPSSI_Box743_Folder6_BSPA1971ConventionProgram_SpecificAreas_watermark

BSPA 1971 National Convention program,  SPSSI records, box 743, folder 6

SPSSI_Box743_Folder6_BSPA1971ConventionProgram_BLOG_WATERMARK

BSPA 1971 National Convention program, daily schedule, SPSSI records, box 743, folder 6

This wasn’t just academics reading papers with audience members asking “questions” (AKA not really asking questions but rather telling everyone in the room what they already know. You guys know what I’m talking about). This was an engaged group of people, mostly students, tackling real issues in the community with psychology.

Awe inspiring.

The SPSSI records also include a bit of information about the BSPA’s second national convention in 1972 on the Bronx Campus of New York University but that is where our archival trail runs cold.

According to Bertha Garret Holliday (2009), “In that same year [1971], an ideological-political chasm began to emerge between ABPSi and BSPA. Meetings focused on effecting a merger between the organizations met with little success.”

And in a very brief chapter by Simpkins in Robert L. Williams (2008) History of the Association of Black Psychologists: Profiles of Outstanding Black Psychologists, Simpkins asserts that BSPA “…continued to exist for a number of years as an affiliate of ABPSi. Later, BSPA made a transition to the now existing ABPSi Student Circle.”

I want to know more. I want to know about this group and its members and how the BSPA may have shaped their careers in psychology. I want to know what came out of that first meeting in Atlanta. I want to know more about the “ideological-political chasm” between ABPSi and BSPA. I want to know more about ALL OF IT!

But alas, I have reference requests in my inbox and my “real job” to attend to. My references are below. Someone take up this project and get back to me. And in the meantime, let’s hear it again for the young people who always have and always will be the change makers!

 

References

(Some of these sources are cited above but others are not. Many are available in full-text via PsycNet. All of them are good so go read them.):

(Jul 1969). Black Students Demand Changes in Psychology. SPSSI Newsletter, 3.

(Jul 1970). BSPA opens office in APA building. The Washington Report, 6(7), 1, 3.

Baker, D. B. (2003). The challenge of change: Formation of the Association of Black Psychologists. In D. K. Freedheim & I. B. Weiner (Eds.), Handbook of Psychology, Volume I: History of Psychology (pp. 492-495). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 

Blau, T. H. (1970). APA Commission on Accelerating Black Participation in Psychology. American Psychologist, 25(12), 1103–1104.

Holliday, B. G. (2009). The history and visions of African American Psychology: Multiple pathways to place, space, and authority. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 15(4), 317-337.

Jones, R. L. (Ed.). (1991). Black psychology.  Cobb & Henry Publishers.

McKeachie, W. J. (1970). Report of the Recording Secretary. American Psychologist, 25(1), 9–12.

Nelson, B. (1969). Searching for social relevance at an APA meeting. Science, 165(3898), 1101-1104.

Sawyer, J. (1970). Why women, Black people, students, and other interest groups should be represented in the APA. American Psychologist, 26(6), 557-558.

Simpkins, G., & Raphael, P. (1970). Black students, APA, and the challenge of change. American Psychologist, 25(5), xxi–xxvi.

Simpkins, G. and Simpkins F. (2009). Between the Rhetoric and Reality. Lauriat Press.

Thomas, C. W. (1970). Psychologists, psychology, and the black community. In F. F. Korten, S. W. Cook, & J. I. Lacey (Eds.), Psychology and the problems of society (pp. 259–267). American Psychological Association.

Warren, J. (Apr 1971). BSPA still struggling to define relationship with APA. APA Monitor, 2(4), 1, 11.

Williams, R. L.  (2008). History of the Association of Black Psychologists: Profiles of Outstanding Black Psychologists. AuthorHouse.

Williams, R. L. (2008). A 40-year history of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPSi). Journal of Black Psychology, 40(3), 249-260.

 

CCHP Archival Collections:

Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) Archives records

Western Psychological Association records 

 

 

 

 

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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 Lizette Royer Barton.

The American Psychological Association was founded in 1892 and in the organization’s 128-year history the membership has elected just 18 women presidents. From 1905 to 1980 they elected five women. 88 years. 88 presidents. 5 women.

Is this really all that surprising to anyone who has been paying attention, in general, to like everything in the world? Not really.

So who were those first 5 women presidents anyways? Mary Whiton Calkins (1905), Margaret Floy Washburn (1921), Anne Anastasi (1972), Leona Tyler (1973), and Florence Denmark (1980).  Yes, you saw that correctly. There really was a 51 year gap between the second and third women presidents. Believe it or not, women did exist in the field of psychology during those years and our friends over at Psychology’s Feminist Voices have these super helpful timelines so you can see for yourself: Women, Gender, Feminism, and Psychology in the United States and Canada 1848-1850s and 1950-Present

No doubt you’ve seen Mary Whiton Calkins and Margaret Floy Washburn in your introductory textbook, your history textbook, and probably elsewhere too. We all know the story of how Calkins took classes with William James, Josiah Royce, and Hugo Munsterberg all while Harvard refused to admit her as a “real” student. We all know the story of how she took an “unsanctioned doctoral examination” and knocked her committee’s damn socks off while doing so, and yet was still denied the degree by Harvard because she was a woman. We know this story.

We know that Margaret Floy Washburn was the second woman president of APA and the first woman to earn a PhD in psychology (1894). We know she studied with E. B. Titchener at Cornell and while he praised her abilities he also sure did a lot to keep women out of experimental psychology by banning them from The Experimentalists. We know this story.

If you’ve been paying attention maybe you know that Anne Anastasi earned her PhD from Columbia University when she was just 21 years old, took on psychological testing, and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1987. Maybe you know that Leona Tyler studied individual differences, devised the Choice Pattern Technique (it’s still used today), and was devoted to public service. APA Division 17 named their highest honor the Leona Tyler Award for Lifetime Achievement in Counseling Psychology for goodness sakes. And maybe you know Florence Denmark taught the first doctoral level Psychology of Women course (1970), co-authored the first women’s studies textbook (1983), and was a co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology.

Maybe you know these stories. Hopefully you know these stories.

But I want to share some other stories. Namely, the way in which women have promoted each other and worked together in order to get more women into the field. Sure, the good ol’ boys network was flourishing (still is!) and there are a zillion examples here in the archives of Mr. So-And-So writing to Mr. What’s-His-Name about this young up and comer Mr. New-To-The-Field and voilà! The next thing you know New-To-The-Field has a prime academic position and is running a lab at a well-known university. Just like that. Almost like magic.

But you know what is even more magical? Women advocating for themselves and other women when the odds are stacked against them.

Let’s work backwards and start with Florence Denmark, the fifth woman president of APA (1980). We will start with Florence because she is awesome and January 28th is her birthday. Happy Birthday, Florence!

Florence Denmark is well known for her work in leadership and mentoring. She quite literally co-wrote the book on mentoring – A Handbook for Women Mentors (2010).

I headed to the basement to dig through Florence’s unprocessed donated materials and discovered box after box of awards – many of them in recognition of her mentoring of students and young professionals.

This one caught my eye.

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Florence Denmark papers, unprocessed

Plaques and awards are nice, sure, and Florence is very much deserving of every single one. But I was on the hunt for something more. I found it in spades.

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Florence Denmark papers, unprocessed

“I would like to thank you for writing a letter that helped with my promotion…. thank you for your effort on my behalf.”

“This is the first time I’ve experienced our “buddy system” at this level. Thank you.”

“I continue to be amazed at all you do for others….Thanks so much for all your efforts on my behalf with the graduate faculty.”

Florence Denmark has spent her career uplifting other women to the great benefit of the field of psychology. Just listen to psychologist Rhoda Unger introduce Florence as the invited speaker for the 1982 Psi Chi/Johns Hopkins G. Stanley Hall Lecture.

 

Happy Birthday, Dr. Denmark.

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APA Board of Directors, 1981. [Cummings Center Still Images collection, box V81]

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Florence Denmark, 1989, APA Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana [Donald Dewsbury Still Images collection, V120, folder 4]

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Florence Denmark, 2009, Cummings Center Colloquium Series, The University of Akron [Cummings Center Still Images collection]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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– contributed by CCHP Reference Archivist Lizette Royer Barton.

The much loved and much anticipated academic winter break is upon us. Shall we celebrate with some Cummings Center archival gems?

Let’s start with this postcard addressed to Edgar A. Doll. I don’t have much to say about it other than I think it’s a beautiful winter photograph and beautiful, moonlit nights during the Ohio winter make all the snow and cold and grey a bit more bearable. (Note to self: tune in to more moonlit winter nights in 2020).

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Edgar & Geraldine Doll papers, box M4268.2.

 

It wouldn’t be the holiday season without a little guilt, am I right? The 15-year old says he’s not interested in religion and wants to skip Christmas Eve church services for a party at his friend’s house. His parents want to keep the Christmas Eve family tradition alive.

What to do? Write to McCall’s for advice and guidance from a real live psychologist, of course!

 

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Lee Salk papers, M2412, folder 15

 

Personally, I am with the 15-year-old on this one (party!) but psychologist Lee Salk thought differently.

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Since we are talking about family fun – check out the Wertheimers. I want to build a snow fort with Max, Anni, and the gang. Each snowball coming together to build a fort greater than the sum of its snowballs. So fun!

 

A scholarly side note, The Wertheimer Family papers are processed and ready for researchers. IT IS AN AWESOME COLLECTION. Come use it in 2020.

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Wertheimer Family papers, M6695, folder 8

 

If there is one family I want to (pretend to) hang out with even more over winter break than the Wertheimers it’s the Miles family. In my own archival day dream, I envision Catharine and Walter (and me) sitting back sipping eggnog and sharing laughs while the little ones play around the Christmas tree. Also, I love tinsel.

 

And if you’re looking for a laid back, humorous, sports-themed Hanukkah how about this fantastic golf bag menorah?

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Lee L. Forman Bag Collection, IHSC, Item ID HFL2007.001.0004

 

Holiday gift giving can be a challenge sometimes. Perhaps that is why James V. McConnell phoned it in and sent Omaha steaks to 79 people to the tune of nearly $3,500.

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James V. McConnell papers, M2064, folder 2

 

The Rene Spitz collection contains numerous films, including several “home movies.” This has to be one of my favorites – the family trudging through the snow, a kid bringing up the rear, the beautiful winter scenery, and the live-action skiing footage (watch until the end). I just love it. I don’t even like skiing but the Spitz family has me (almost) wanting to hit the slopes.

 

So however you decide to spend these next couple of weeks – holidays or not – remember to enjoy yourself. Slow down, spend time with the people you care about (or don’t!), eat something delicious, sit in front of a fireplace, read a book, and maybe take stock of 2019 and consider what you can do to be an even better human in 2020.

Happy Holidays and for those of us on academic winter break – Happy Week Between!

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contributed by Emily Gainer and Anthony Greenaway.

The Wertheimer Family Papers are now open to researchers! The papers, consisting of 141 boxes, document the life and work of Max Wertheimer and his son, Michael.  The papers include correspondence, research files, academic files, written works, family materials, and photographs.

Max Wertheimer (1880-1943) first studied psychology at the Friedrich-Wilhelm University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wurzburg in 1904. Max began his career as a faculty member at the University of Frankfurt. He was a lecturer at the Psychological Institute at the University of Berlin from 1916 to 1929, before returning to Frankfurt as a full professor until 1933. Along with Wolfgang Köhler and Kurt Koffka, Wertheimer established Gestalt psychology, challenging common analytic approaches to the study of experience. Fleeing Germany shortly before the Nazis came to power, Max and his family immigrated to the United States in 1933. He taught at the New School for Social Research in New York from 1933 until his death in 1943.

Max Wertheimer, undated. (Box M6695, Folder 16)

Max Wertheimer with cat, 1934-1935. (Box M6695, Folder 1)

Michael Wertheimer (1927- ) received a B.A. in psychology from Swarthmore College in 1947, a M.A. in psychology from The Johns Hopkins University in 1949, and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Harvard University in 1952. Michael has held the position of Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado since 1993, where he first became a professor in 1961. His work centered on the areas of cognition, perception, psycholinguistics, and the history of psychology.

Michael Wertheimer, 1976. (Box M6781, Folder 11)

Michael Wertheimer, 1977. (Box M6781, Folder 11)

The papers are organized into two series: Max Wertheimer papers and Michael Wertheimer papers. They are further organized into subseries within. The papers not only document the professional work of Max and Michael, they also provide information about the personal and family lives of the Wertheimers. Researchers can find information about their experience fleeing Germany and immigrating to the United States.

Materials from other family members are also included in the collection, including Max’s parents, brother, and children. Of special note are the boxes of Anni (Wertheimer) Hornbostel’s correspondence, dating from the 1920s through the 1980s.

Anni Wertheimer Hornbostel playing the violin, 1924. (Box M6695, Folder 6)

Of special interest is Max’s correspondence, which is arranged alphabetically by last name. Correspondents include Albert Einstein, Kurt Koffka, Wolfgang Kohler, and Kurt Lewin. Researchers should note that a majority of Max’s material is written in German. A small portion of materials in Michael’s materials are in German. Correspondence to Anni is mainly in German.

Max Wertheimer lecturing in Frankfurt, 1929-1930. (Box M6695, Folder 10)

The collection was donated to the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology by Michael Wertheimer. During processing, materials were identified as originating with Max or Michael; however there may be overlap between the two.

Researchers can view the Wertheimer Family papers finding aid for the full collection description.  Hundreds of photographs and three scrapbooks from the papers have been digitized and are available online.  Contact the CCHP reference archivist for access to the papers.

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-contributed by Ace Harrah.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ace, and I’m a new intern here at CCHP. I’m the youngest intern here yet, being only 17 years old, which means that I’m still in high school. I have Bio-Med Science Academy to thank for the pleasure of being able to work with all of the wonderful people on staff here while still pursuing my diploma. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned with you all!

My current project is researching psychologists who specialized in creativity. As you can imagine, this is a wide subject that requires a very niche interest to start researching. After all, what is creativity? How do you study such an abstract topic? I don’t have an answer to any of that, but I certainly can share what I’ve learned so far!

When I first started my research in our collections database, there was one name that kept popping up wherever I went: E. Paul Torrance. I’ve learned since then that Torrance was a psychologist who focused his studies on the creativity of children and looked to enhance the academic lives of the creative student. He felt that schools disregarded most of the students who were creatively gifted over students who are intellectually different. The main issue, he found, was that there was no way for schools to quantify a student’s inherent creative ability. Thus, he created the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT), a standardized test that looked to objectively measure the creative potential of a child.

 

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Now, how does someone “grade” another’s capacity for creativity? After all, creativity is mostly immeasurable, right? Well, the TTCT supplies test subjects (or “pupils,” as the scoring sheet calls them) with different figures to build off of. The ambiguity (or lack thereof) in the shapes provides challenges for test takers and gives them an opportunity to create something entirely new with minimal constraints.

Torrance’s tests are still used today, although they are much more popular in Europe than here in the US. As a creator myself, I am personally a bit skeptical about how accurate Torrance’s tests really can be to measure one’s creativity. I think that creativity relies strongly on outside variables rather than one’s own innate ability. 

As a side thought, is creativity really something we should try to quantify? Being told at a young age that you aren’t especially creative could deter individuals from pursuing artistic education, even later in their life. Perhaps creativity is something you learn through practice. Sure, some people are born athletes, but does that mean everyone else should give up on making the team? That’s one of the best things about humans: we adapt.

What would you create based off of this image?

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–contributed by Arianna Iliff, graduate student assistant.

By the time you read this, I will be gone…from graduate school! After two and a half years here at the CCHP, I’m hitting the road with a fresh Master’s degree in Counseling/Marriage and Family Therapy in hand. Before I started school, I had a goal to get a job that would help me understand my field better and back up the knowledge I gained in class, and I was so lucky to find the CCHP in the process. I’ve spent the last two and a half years learning by doing, searching through manuscripts and images for our researchers and getting drawn into the stories of psychology’s history. So for my final blog post, I’d like to talk a little bit about two of my favorite therapists in history. Carl Whitaker and Virginia Satir were a pair of iconoclasts: major influences in my own field of family therapy and originators of an experiential model of therapy.

Carl Whitaker, a psychiatrist by trade, was a major advocate for co-therapy, or two therapists working with one family. Whitaker was known for making outrageous statements in therapy sessions, what I like to call his “sick Whitakerisms.” By using this ‘therapy of the absurd,’ he was able to get families out of their comfort zone to promote growth. I was surprised to find him in the James F. T. Bugenthal papers, where there is an entire folder of correspondence with Carl Whitaker. In this correspondence, he discusses the inclusion of his paper “The Therapist as a Prototype” in The Challenge of Humanistic Psychology.

“The important thing is that you stay for breakfast, not whether you sleep with me the night before.” I am entirely unsurprised this quotation stuck with Whitaker. [James F. T. Bugenthal papers, Box M951, Folder 1]

Virginia Satir was a co-founder of the Mental Research Institute, home to several prolific family therapists. The first time I saw a recording of her performing therapy, she was instructing a father and son on the best way to communicate love through touch. Virginia’s entire therapeutic approach centered on communication, and she made it her goal to assist families with saying, whether verbally or nonverbally, exactly what they mean. She appears several times in our Popular Psychology magazine collection, where she is interviewed as a thought leader in the world of family functioning.

Despite being known for her gentle and nurturing style, Satir had a direct streak: “I really have no interest in preserving families that don’t belong together.” [Special Interest, Popular Psychology Magazines, Box 93]

Virginia Satir says in her book ­­The New Peoplemaking, “Without loving and being loved, the human soul and spirit curdle and die” (p. 141). In her own parlance, working at the CCHP has enriched my own soul, allowing me to get to know the humans behind the history through primary sources. My colleagues here have been so kind to me, and so willing to allow me to learn. And of course, I’d like to thank you, readers, for enjoying these trips through the collection with me here on the blog.

Now, I am going forth to be a therapist, and I hope in my own career I can do something important enough to be included in the CCHP archives.

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