coverage of psychological research was not commonplace prior to the war Indeed

Coverage of psychological research was not

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coverage of psychological research was not commonplace prior to the war. Indeed, the newspapers seemed so uninterested in psychology that coverage of the annual meetings of the APA was a rare event. The initial meeting of APA in 1892 drew a brief mention in the Philadelphia Enquirer ("Psy- chological Papers," 1892), but of the next 18 meetings (through 1910), only 5 were afforded any attention in the convention city's newspaper. In these early years APA held its annual meeting in conjunction with the Affiliated Science Societies (later the American Association for the Advancement of Science). These meetings were regularly reported in the local press, but coverage went to the older science societies, such as the Society of Naturalists and the American Chemical Society. When psychology did get some press, the image projected was not always one psychologists might have liked to see portrayed. For ex- ample, consider the following excerpt from a New York Times article on the 1906 APA meeting: An experiment tending to establish the existence in rats of a sixth sense unknown to man was described to the American Psychological Association by Prof. John B. Watson of Chicago University. His recital of what he did to the rat in any other place would probably have caused a sensation. He put a rat in a box from which the only escape was by a maze, and kept it there until it was thoroughly familiar with the intricacies of the exit. Then he removed its eyes and it managed to come out all right. Smell might have guided it, so he took out the olfactory nerve. It got out again. Suggesting that this escape was due to the sense of touch the professor proceeded to freeze its feet. Still it emerged from its prison. Finally he covered its head completely with collodion and even then it threaded the maze. From these continued experiments Dr. Watson asked the section to believe that the rat must possess a sense of direction which may be shared by other animals. Psychologists differ as to the possibility of this but there are some who assert that man is not without this sense entirely. ("An Experiment," 1906, p. 5) Following 1906, there was no newspaper coverage of the APA meetings until the 1910 meeting in Washington, D.C. After that date, reports of the meetings were a regular occurrence. This coverage included a 1916 article in the New York Times that reported on Hall's address in which he asserted that applied psychology could provide the means to win the war ("Sees in Psychology," 1916). Based on the increase in newspaper coverage of psy- chological meetings and in the number of news stories based on psychological research, it appears that the pop- ularity of psychology increased slightly in the years im- mediately prior to World War I. Postwar Popularity By the beginning of the 1920s, much of the American public seemed convinced that the science of psychology held the keys to prosperity and happiness. Albert Wiggam, a nonpsychologist author of a popular newspaper column on psychology in the 1920s, was one of the forces con- tributing to this belief. In one of his columns Wiggam
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  • Winter '20
  • besim hoca
  • Psychology, The American, American Psychological Association, American Psychology, The New Psychology

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