essay1draft - 1 Essay on The New History of Psychology...

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Essay on “The New History of Psychology” Emily Morrill September 20, 2010 History and Systems of Psychology University of Southern Maine 1
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In the 1989 article “The new history of psychology”; Laurel Furumoto introduced the “new history of psychology” to general psychology. She argued that those who teach the history of psychology are not trained in historiography, thus were unable to provide an accurate overview of the field of psychology for psychologists or provide a significant research area for historians. Furumoto believed that those who teach the history of psychology should modernize the fields’ development to include a broader social and political perspective. Furumoto had traced the origin of new history back to 1912, where she reviewed how the new history gradually permeated the history of natural science that, in turn, recently integrated itself into the history of social science. During her research, she found a volume of essays written by James H. Robinson, in which he argued that historians should illustrate the past in terms of “natural habits”, rather than focusing on the “history as a chronicle of heroic persons” (p. 10). She described how the “new history of psychology” reacted against the old history, defining new historicists as externalist histories aware of recent historical research that seeks out the core of psychology. Furumoto noted a variety of comparisons between old history and new history. First, she raised the issue of the dependency on secondary and tertiary sources used by old historians that led to a distorted understanding of the history of psychology. This misrepresentation failed to convey the full breadth of interpretation of theorists’ works. Myths and anecdotes were created because one writer’s conclusions would be cited and then passed on to the next generation. For example, Samelson (1974) challenged the notion that Auguste Compte founded modern social psychology. Traditionally, Allport’s survey of Compte defined Compte in this capacity. However, Allport selectively used 2
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Compte’s ideas to fit into his notion. Samelson promoted a new critical approach to the historiography of psychology
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essay1draft - 1 Essay on The New History of Psychology...

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