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Posts Tagged ‘history of psychology’

Contributed by Rose Stull, student assistant.

Gilbert Gottlieb was a research scientist and clinical psychologist.  He was the first graduate student in Duke University’s joint psychology-zoology graduate training program.  At Duke, he became interested in imprinting in waterfowl.  After working at Dorothea Dix Hospital from 1961-1982), Gottlieb became a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (1982-1995).

The Gilbert Gottlieb papers document his career through written works, correspondence, research files, academic files, unpublished experiments, administrative files, photographs, and slides. We are happy to announce that these papers are now available for research at the CCHP.

Gilbert Gottlieb in his office at Dorothea Dix Hospital, undated. Box M6569, Folder 21

Gottlieb researched early social development in different species of precocial birds in the field and in the lab. He is known for his contributions to the fields of developmental science, and his research focused on ducks and their prenatal and postnatal imprinting behaviors.

Ducklings in Broods with Models, audio visual experiment test shots, undated. M6569, Folder 15

The collection contains hundreds of photographs and slides of Gottlieb and his team conducting research in the field and inside his laboratory at the Dorothea Dix hospital. Gottlieb examined the nuances of development, including the idea of critical periods and imprinting. His focus on imprinting involved auditory and visual testing, examining the development of naturalistic imprinting tendencies. This is a small sample of photographs taken from the Gottlieb collection. In the next few weeks, we’re digitizing the photographs and slides and adding them to the CCHP’s online database.

Gottlieb inspecting nest boxes at Dorothea Dix Field Research Station, undated. Box M6569, Folder 20

 

Nest boxes at Dorothea Dix Field Research Station, undated. Box M6569, Folder 3

 

Audio vs. visual Tests, 1966. Box M6569, Folder 4

 

Chick or duck embryo, undated. Box M6569, Folder 10

 

Duckling in Head Holder; 8th Nerve Dissection, undated. Box M6569, Folder 16

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contributed by Aubrey Baldwin, Phillip Fischio, Anthony Greenaway, Laura Loop, and Katelynn Olsen (students in the Museums & Archives Certificate Program).

Fire, arson, danger. Most people don’t associate these words with children; however the work of George A. Sakheim might suggest otherwise.

Card taken from Sakheim’s original collection, which states his research. Box M6591; Folder 1

 

George A. Sakheim, a clinical psychologist, did most of his research on the fire-setting behaviors of children during the 1970s to the early 2000s. Dr. Sakheim’s discoveries led to various published works on child arsonists. Overall, his work contributed to a greater understanding of a topic that previously was not well understood.

Most of the information was garnered through therapy sessions with minor fire-setter case studies.  Many of the children that Dr. Sakheim worked with suffered from mental illness, which may have contributed to their fire-setting behaviors. Part of his work involved assessing the level of risk exhibited by each child. He ranked each patient as minor, moderate, or severe. Dr. Sakheim performed many different tests to create these rankings. One such test was an exercise allowing the children to draw something associated to what they were discussing in therapy.

Example of a patient’s drawing. Box M6592; Folder 11

 

The various cases that Dr. Sakheim reviewed of child and adolescent fire-setters made him an expert on the subject. His expertise secured him a consulting position with the New York State Office of Developmental Disabilities and Mental Retardation. He also wrote several books and articles on the topic, helping the psychological community gain a better understanding of the phenomenon. 

Juvenile Firesetters in Residential Treatment by George A. Sakheim et al. Box M6609; Folder 2

 

Dr. Sakheim’s archival papers documenting this work are now available at the Cumming’s Center for the History of Psychology. The papers contain 20 letter size document cases and 1 record storage box, all relating to Dr. Sakheim’s work. All of the patient files are restricted, including cassette tapes of interviews with firesetters, but Dr. Sakheim’s research and written works are open for research.  View the finding aid for the George Sakheim papers for more details.

The processing of this archival collection fulfilled requirements for students enrolled in the course Foundations of Museums and Archives I.

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contributed by Allan Christopher, Amanda Leach, Sarah Riddle, M. Rose Stull (students in the Museums & Archives Certificate Program).

The Marianne Simmel papers consist of the primary research, patient files, correspondence and publications of psychologist Dr. Marianne Simmel, as well as her work/research with the performers Marcel Marceau and Charlie Chaplin.

Picture of Dr. Marianne Simmel in Paris, Early 1950’s. Located in Box M6613, Folder 11.

The primary focus of her research was the phantom limb phenomenon, and she also dabbled in cognitive neuropsychology. Her work with phantom limbs focused on adults and children with neurological defects. Amputations were a large focus, and she also did work with mastectomy patients. She explored animacy and the human instinct for storytelling, which led to an extensive collection following the work of Charlie Chaplin and Marcel Marceau.

Dr. Simmel, pictured second from left, conducting research at the University of Illinois. Located in Box M6613, Folder 11.

Dr. Simmel’s work with phantom limbs included various tests meant to induce/test sensation where the missing body part once was, such as experiments with heat and cold.

Sample of test sheets Dr. Simmel gave to her patients. Located in Box M6613, Folder 7.

She corresponded with Dr. Jean Piaget, a renowned child psychologist of the time. Much of this correspondence is  in French and, considering she was born in Germany, it is reasonable to assume she was trilingual.

Simmel also published several studies on the phantom limb phenomena, including the physical and psychological effects on patients of various circumstances and health conditions. One of the ways Simmel did this was by studying the human capacity for symbolic art form, particularly by working with performers Marcel Marceau and Charlie Chaplin. She would often go on tour with Marceau, giving lectures after his initial performance in order to make her point.

Playbill featuring Marcel Marceau. Located in Box M6630, Folder 3.

While going through her research files, we also found representations of the Homunculus, which shows the relative extent of symmetric motor and sensory representation in the cerebral cortex.

Blind Child (Fig. 1), An Example of Bad Art (Fig. II) and Homunculus (Fig. III).

To learn more about the contents of this collection, view the finding aid. You can view the collection in person at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology, located in Akron, Ohio.

The processing of this archival collection fulfilled requirements for students enrolled in the course Foundations of Museums and Archives, I.

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– contributed by Lizette R. Barton, reference archivist & facial hair aficionado.

Movember is a charitable organization that raises money and awareness for men’s health issues including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention. One way they raise money is by encouraging men to enlist donations from friends and families as they grow moustaches throughout the month of November. It’s like a walkathon or a telethon. It’s a facial-hair-athon.

The Movember Foundation isn’t supporting this post or anything. But it’s a good reason as any to highlight some of the truly majestic moustaches from psychology’s history. Here are a few of my personal favorites.

Alfred Binet. The O.G. of intelligence testing. Check out that twirly moustache. I bet it has an intelligence quotient of at least 140.

Alfred Binet, CCHP Still Images collection

Genius moustache with near-genius accompanying beard!

 

Wikipedia tells me Floyd H. Allport, “…played a key role in the creation of social psychology as a legitimate field of behavioral science.” Whoa. Serious stuff from a serious ‘stache.

This individualistic moustache is a social force all its own

 

Check out Raymond Dodge’s moustache. Even that gigantic model brain on his Wesleyan University desk looks tiny in comparison.

Raymond Dodge_Wesleyan

This is where I tell you Dodge was the mentor of my historical boyfriend Walter R. Miles. Miles was clean-shaven. I won’t hold that against him.

 

Speaking of Raymond Dodge, take a look at all the moustaches in his 1896 class at  the University of Halle.

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Old school moustaches. And plenty of them.

 

And more new school – check out the amazing goatees on these two 1979-1980 Nassau County Psychological Association executive board members.

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Goatee AND pinstripes? Get outta here!

 

And as long as we’re kickin’ it (more…)

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– contributed by CCHP graduate assistant Arianna Iliff.

Most of my coworkers here at the CCHP know that I am an animal lover, and that I’ll gladly show you pictures of my cats, Star and Nimbus, if you let me. In fact, I featured my favorite item in the collection in a previous blog post—a chalk drawing created by Molly Harrower portraying her own dearly adored cats. I do not always know why my pets do what they do—why they love playing with leaves but can’t hunt a stinkbug, for instance–which is why I am grateful for the work of John Paul Scott, an animal behaviorist who studied a variety of creatures, including goats, sheep, birds, and dogs.

In the collection, there is a huge variety of materials from Scott’s career, including his famous text Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog. Scott also maintained connections with a variety of breeding clubs for breeds such as the doberman, the yorkie, or the unique little creature called the telomian—considered to be a link between a basenji and a wild dingo. One article described these dogs as “The Missing Link With The Worried Look.”

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Who’s a scholastically relevant boy? Is it you? It’s you! Good boy!

You can also find memos and correspondence discussing new puppies and answering questions of dog behavior.

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“A spoiled, lovable, useless pet.” What more could a dog lover want?

Scott died in 2000 and was described with honor by Bowling Green State University. His relative obscurity to the mainstream is curious, given that so much of what we know about dog behavior is derived from his research. If nothing else, we certainly have a vast collection to speak of, with Scott’s wide-reaching discussions of animal psychology. Now, if only I could figure out why Nimbus is obsessed with my yoga mat?

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A four-month-old telomian. The reverse of this photo indicates her name is “Princess.” Precious!

 

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-contributed by student assistant Anthony Pankuch.

The complete Cushing Memorial Library Collection of Asylum Reports is now available through the Cummings Center online database. The collection includes over 400 reports from asylums throughout 32 U.S. states and dating back to as early as 1832. These reports are open to the public and viewable in their entirety.

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Reports cover asylums across 32 states, reflecting treatment practices in all regions of the United States.

These reports contain financial records, floor plans, patient intake statistics, and day-to-day details from asylums throughout the nation. They provide information on the historic classifications of diseases and their treatment, from melancholy to mania to nostalgia. They are a vital resource for scholars of institutional care throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as for anyone with an interest in the history of psychology, psychiatry, and medicine.

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Many reports include illustrations of the interiors and exteriors of these institutions, along with floor plans and architectural information.

Of particular interest are the reports of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane, which were written by the noted physician Dr. Thomas Kirkbride. Kirkbride was the founder of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane (precursor to the modern American Psychiatric Association) and the creator of the “Kirkbride Plan” of asylum architecture. Kirkbride served as superintendent of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane from 1840 to 1883. The collection contains 18 reports from Kirkbride’s time as head of the institution.

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Reports include information on the primary staff members of institutions, patient statistics, and more.

The collection was donated as a permanent loan to the Cummings Center from the Cushing Memorial Library at Texas A&M University, facilitated by Dr. Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr. It was digitized and uploaded to the online database over the course of one year by student assistants Emma Grosjean and Anthony Pankuch. Excluded from the online database are several reports still in need of archival repair. Aside from these documents, the complete collection is now available for public access.

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– contributed by Chelsea Chamberlin, Doctoral Candidate, University of Pennsylvania.

CCHP: Dates of on-site research visit at CCHP:

CC: June 25, 2018 – July 13, 2018

CCHP: What led you to the CCHP?

CC: Having completed my comprehensive exams in the spring, the CCHP was my first big research trip for my dissertation. I first learned about the archives in Akron from the citations in Paul McReynolds’s biography of Lightner Witmer while writing a research paper in my first year. A quick search of their catalog revealed they had the papers of so many people I knew would appear in my dissertation! Little did I know that McReynolds would provide even more exciting information in the archive itself.

CCHP: What were you looking for and why?

CC: The CCHP has the personal collections of a number of psychologists who are important figures in my dissertation, among them Henry Herbert Goddard, J.E. Wallace Wallin, and Leta Stetter Hollingworth. Although I had read some of these psychologists’ published works, I was hoping that their collections would hold more insight into their day-to-day lives, and especially how their professional and personal lives intersected with each other.

CCHP: What did you find?

CC: These collections did not disappoint. I gained a much better understanding of each of these psychologists’ ideologies, personalities, and personal and professional networks.

The person I feel I got to know best was J.E. Wallace Wallin. Very little has been written about Wallin; his reputation as an educational psychologist celebrates the sheer number of diagnostic clinics and “special school” systems that he established throughout the US. His correspondence, though, indicates that this accomplishment was no intentional plan of Wallin’s, but rather a consequence of his quite cantankerous personality. He was rarely happy where he was, and the people around him were rarely happy either. And so, he shuffled about the country from position to position, looking for administrators who wouldn’t infuriate him and the reputation he felt he deserved. This isolation and discontent, I suspect, helped him speak out against the spread of and reliance on intelligence testing, despite the fact that testing’s founder and advocate, H.H. Goddard, was one of his mentors. Indeed, Goddard and Wallin corresponded regularly, though often with frustration as Wallin complained and Goddard told him to sit tight and suck it up. Perhaps my favorite find was a line in a letter when Goddard finally lost his temper, writing: “The fact is, Wallin, there are several points of resemblance between you and a jack-ass.” Quite a surprise coming from the otherwise mild-mannered Quaker!

CCHP: Were there any fun, interesting, or unexpected surprises?

CC: This question brings me back to Paul McReynolds, whose papers are also held at the CCHP. These papers are mostly the physical manifestations of his research method for the Witmer biography. They not only provided an enlightening (for me) look at how one did research before the internet age, they also revealed a separate collection that had not been accessed in over a decade, and which had not shown up in my catalog searches. Lightner Witmer founded the nation’s first Psychological Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania in 1896, and in his research McReynolds had accessed the records of that clinic. The records had been placed on microfilm and sent to the CCHP, and the originals at Penn destroyed. A letter between McReynolds and John Popplestone, the founder and then-director of the archives, mentioned this microfilm. I showed the letter to Lizette Barton, who set upon a search and found the microfilm! These case records can shed light on some of the central questions of my project: What motivated parents to bring a child to a clinic? How did they narrate their child’s perceived disability? What factors shaped the diagnoses and treatment recommendations given, and how did parents implement or ignore those recommendations?

CCHP: Any let downs? 

CC: The microfilm raised new and important ethical questions. These clinic records contain the lives of real people, and because visitors were often young children, some of them may still be alive. Archivists are stewards of not only paper records, but the lives and dignity of the people contained within them. Historians, too, are responsible for honoring the lives and personhood of our subjects, and this means respecting their privacy as much as we can. For me, this duty is magnified by the nature of how my subjects entered the historical record: as often involuntary patients, as children, many of whom were institutionalized. The let down, then, was discovering that the records exist, and then deciding with the archivists that these ethical considerations meant I could not look at them–yet.

CCHP: What’s next?

CC: Because the names of these patients must be protected, the CCHP is working to find out how the records can be duplicated and redacted. This way, these valuable sources can be accessed, not only by me, but by other researchers as well, while keeping identifiable information out of the public record.

CCHP: Have any final thoughts?

CC: I want to thank the CCHP, especially Lizette Barton and Arianna Iliff. Three weeks is a long time to spend in one archive, and they pulled an absurd number of boxes without complaint. Lizette shouldered the task of finding the microfilm, unearthing it’s provenance (where it came from), and determining how to balance privacy with access. All the staff at the CCHP were welcoming and helpful–even loaning me a bike so I could explore Akron and commute to the archive each day! And they did all of this immediately after hosting a conference, a daunting and exhausting tasks. Thank you!

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Chelsea working in the reading room during her visit – summer 2018

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