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History of Psychology

Marco Innamorati, Ruggero Taradel, Renato Foschi
In Catholic culture, and especially within the Italian Catholic environment, there has recently been a significant revival of the practice of exorcism. This is a fact noted by historians such as Levack (2013) and Young (2016). The article intends to show how this phenomenon is related to a series of important historical turning points, the most important of which is the recent collaboration between exorcists and Catholic psychologists and psychiatrists to establish a differential diagnosis between real possession and mere psychopathology...
December 3, 2018: History of Psychology
Robert Kugelmann
Thomas Verner Moore (1877-1969), a Catholic priest, psychologist, and psychiatrist, developed a Catholic psychiatry in the first half of the 20th century. Following a brief description of Moore's life, this article develops his psychiatric theory, beginning with its grounding in Thomistic philosophical thought. The relationship between reason and faith, the place of the soul in psychological theory, and a central role for Catholic moral teaching were three Thomistic principles vital to Moore's thinking. Defining psychology as the science of personality, and the study of personality as central to psychiatry, Moore articulated a theory and practice of psychotherapy that he contended was scientifically sound...
November 29, 2018: History of Psychology
Mauro Antonelli
This article reconstructs Vittorio Benussi's (1878-1927) research on autonomia funzionale emotiva [emotional functional autonomy], carried out in Padua between 1920 and 1927. Its aim is to demonstrate that Benussi believed-against the intellectualist mainstream of the psychology of his time and even against the Brentanian-Meinongian tradition in which he was educated-in the fundamental independence of emotions from the cognitive functions that usually accompany them. To study this autonomy, Benussi used hypnosis as an experimental tool designed to disassemble the phenomena of mental life from their global functional unity...
October 25, 2018: History of Psychology
Geir Kirkebøen
The 17th-century philosopher René Descartes's radical new understanding of psychological phenomena is usually presented very inaccurately in psychological literature. Two extreme examples are Damasio's (1994) Descartes' Error and Wilson's (2002) Strangers to Ourselves. These two much-cited books contrast the "great" philosopher's naive mistakes with recent research on, respectively, the relation among emotions, reason, and the brain (Damasio) and the adaptive functions of unconscious processes (Wilson)...
October 22, 2018: History of Psychology
Michael R W Dawson, Cor Baerveldt, Evan Shillabeer, Vickie Richard
We examine the University of Alberta's Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Psychology (1965-1990) in the context of social science conducted during the Cold War. We begin by considering the center with respect to three important properties of social science at this time: an emphasis on interdisciplinarity, a focus on theory, and a preference for quantitative methods. Our analysis suggests that center activities also exhibited these characteristics. They were highly interdisciplinary, they were concerned with the development of psychological theory, and center members were experts in a variety of formal, mathematical, or statistical techniques...
September 27, 2018: History of Psychology
Ivan Flis
The commentaries by Baldwin (2018), Green (2018), and Porter (2018) on the 2 articles (Burman, 2018; Flis & Van Eck, 2018) in this special section provide a unique perspective on digital humanities approaches to history of psychology. Each of the commentators approached the topic through their own lens-Melinda Baldwin as a historian of scientific journals, Christopher Green as a pioneer in digital history of psychology, and Ted Porter as a historian of quantification. In my response, I tried to reply to the 3 comments by critically discussing 4 themes the special section has raised: the relationship between digital history and conventional history, the perspective that takes databases as both sources for historians and objects in history, the relationship between "thick descriptions" and "thin" digital ones, and finally, the role of digital history as a type of a "trading creole" between scientists working in quantified disciplines like scientific psychology and less quantified ones like history...
November 2018: History of Psychology
Christopher D Green
The articles authored by Flis and van Eck (2018) and by Burman (2018) serve as fine examples of the ways in which digital historical methods can illuminate aspects of psychology's past that would probably not be possible otherwise. This success, however, presents no reason to think that digital history is some kind of threat to conventional historiography or that former aims to replace the latter. The two can work complementarily-so closely, in fact, that it sometimes becomes difficult to know which of the two one is practicing at any given moment...
November 2018: History of Psychology
Theodore M Porter
Much history of psychology presumes a discordance between its humanistic methods and the focus on rigorous statistical reasoning that is typical of the field it studies. However, the conditions of abundant data typical of digital humanities tend to relax the constraints of tests of significance and to allow greater freedom to try out alternative interpretations within the frame of a single study. At the same time, the elusiveness of rigorous standardization within a very large database, especially if it stretches over wide spaces or many decades, may be seen to demand meticulous source criticism of a sort that has more often been associated with the humanities than with quantitative science...
November 2018: History of Psychology
Melinda Baldwin
In their articles for this special issue on digital humanities, Jeremy Burman (2018) and Ivan Flis and Nees Jan van Eck (Flis & van Eck, 2018) examine how psychology journals can be used as sources for large-scale data sets that might illuminate the development of psychology as a research discipline. In my commentary, I seek to situate these two articles in a broader history of scientific publishing and offer further thoughts on the possibilities and pitfalls of data-based methods for the history of scientific publishing...
November 2018: History of Psychology
Jeremy Trevelyan Burman
This special section on the digital history of psychology includes target articles by Ivan Flis and Nees Jan van Eck and Jeremy Trevelyan Burman, with comments by Melinda Baldwin, Ted Porter, and Chris Green. In his introduction to the section, Burman explains his original motivation in turning to tools borrowed from the digital humanities: helping graduate students to identify dissertation topics more easily, and thereby reduce completion times for the doctorate, while at the same time doing "good history...
November 2018: History of Psychology
Jörgen L Pind
The Tenth International Congress of Psychology, held in Copenhagen in late August of 1932, was the last International Congress held before events leading up to World War II came to interfere with the course of the congresses. Despite the difficult times, primarily because of the Great Depression and the fragile political situation, the congress nevertheless managed to bring together participants from many countries, thus emphasizing the international profile of psychology. The 1932 congress was characterized by the wide range of topics presented and discussed...
August 16, 2018: History of Psychology
Patrick Drumm
Australia's Aborigines possessed a rich cultural heritage dating back more than 55,000 years by the time British colonization began in the late 1700s (Davis, 2009). The British invaders could not comprehend the worldview of the Aborigines, whose hunter-gatherer culture emphasized preservation of the varied environments they occupied across the continent. Native traditions of walking, singing, and, most importantly, dreaming both created and maintained the world's existence since the first dawn. Aboriginal cosmology differed so drastically from the colonists' that it posed an insurmountable intellectual challenge...
August 2018: History of Psychology
Renato Foschi
This article summarizes the book "The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences" by Jason A. Josephson-Storm (University of Chicago Press, 2017) is a volume that attempts to stimulate discussion on domains considered different: esotericism, spiritism, occultism, idealism, and positivism. (PsycINFO Database Record
August 2018: History of Psychology
Shayna Fox Lee
The Brazilian Society for the History of Psychology (SBHP) was founded in 2013 to promote the History of Psychology in the country. The goal of our joint meeting is to discuss how the history of psychology can help foster critical understandings of some basic problems on the definition of psychology, its projects as a science and some issues related to the delimitation of its subject matter and methods. (PsycINFO Database Record
August 2018: History of Psychology
Deborah Weinstein
In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association voted to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (2nd ed.; DSM-II; American Psychiatric Association, 1968). Clinicians subsequently began conducting psychotherapy with gays and lesbians not in order to change their sexuality but to address the psychological effects of homophobia and associated problems. Family-related issues such as the impact of coming out to relatives became an important dimension of psychotherapy that normalized same-sex desire, identity, and relationships, even amid contemporary invocations of family values as grounds for opposing gays and lesbians' political claims...
August 2018: History of Psychology
Alejandro A Dagfal
The hegemonic place acquired by psychoanalysis in the Argentinean psychotherapeutic field is recognized by friend and foe alike. Nevertheless, the historical process leading to this situation is less well known. In this article, I focus on 2 periods crucial to understanding the unusual scope of Freudian ideas and practices in that country. The first one (1955-1966) corresponds to the professionalization of psychology and was marked by projects such as those of Bleger and Pichon-Rivière. Their ideas involved an alliance between psychology and psychoanalysis within a larger synthesis whose philosophical framework was French existential phenomenology...
August 2018: History of Psychology
Erika Dyck, Patrick Farrell
The decade of the 1950s is well known among historians of psychiatry for the unprecedented shift toward psychopharmacological solutions to mental health problems. More psychiatric medications were introduced than ever before or since (Healy, 2002). While psychiatric researchers later credited these drugs, in part, for controlling psychotic, depressive, and anxious symptoms-and subsequently for emptying decaying psychiatric institutions throughout the Western world-psychiatrists also produced a number of other theories that relied on a more delicate and nuanced blending of psychotherapy and psychopharmacology...
August 2018: History of Psychology
Jennifer Lambe
This article traces the history of Cuba's first and only Spiritist mental clinic, founded in the 1940s in the central province of Camagüey and shut down by the revolutionary government in the 1960s. It analyzes the history of the clinic with respect to the virtual absence of institutional psychiatric care outside of Havana in these decades, but also in the context of a more enduring problematic: the persistent preference shown by Cubans for religiously grounded forms of mental healing. Namely, "In the Shadow of the Double" explores the broader geography of mental care within which Spiritists defined the uniqueness of their healing practice, vis-à-vis both institutional psychiatry, to which they theorized a relationship of strategic complementarity, and other forms of religiously grounded healing, which they disparaged as "backwards" and even dangerous...
August 2018: History of Psychology
Cristiana Facchinetti, Alexander Jabert
The purpose of this article is to present an historical account of an intersection that occurred in Brazil between popular healing treatments and conventional psychiatric practices during the first half of the 20th century. To illustrate our argument, we analyzed data retrieved from the medical records of patients admitted to the Spiritist Sanatorium of Uberaba, Brazil, between 1934 and 1948. Although the Uberaba Spiritist movement founded the institution, it was directed by a physician educated in the biomedical tradition at the Rio de Janeiro School of Medicine...
August 2018: History of Psychology
David T Schmit
The Methodist-Episcopalian minister-turned-physician and philosopher of healing Warren Felt Evans (1817-1889) was one of the earliest practitioners of mental healing, also known as "mind cure." Originating in New England in the second half of the 19th century, mind cure spread through the country in the 1880s. Drawing from Evans's unpublished journals, I recount his struggles with chronic ill health and his turn to the Quietist mystics and Swedenborg, and then to the mesmerist-turned-mental-healer P...
August 2018: History of Psychology
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