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History of Psych310

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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A History of Modern Psychology

Why is the understanding the history of psychology important? A psychologist and historian (E.G. Boring, 1963) once said, “The seats on the train of progress all face backwards: You can see the past but only guess about the future. Yet a knowledge of history, although it can never be complete and fails miserably to foretell the future, has a huge capacity for adding significance to the understanding of the present” (see chapter 1). Every course that you have taken on history has shown that we never learn anything from our past mistakes, and that looking back cannot guarantee our future in setting stone. But psychology is important to learn because it teaches us a few things: one, it would help psychologist become more critical thinker and be able to help people better, and can help measure those “evolutionary breakthroughs” because of the initial excitement that usually comes with the beginning of anything. Two, it could bring every psychologist closer together because of so many diverse field, we share a common ground. Psychology history does not date back far; in fact many would claim to say that it is in childhood stage for it is no older than 125 years (see Chapter 1). Robert I. Watson was a clinical psychologist with a passion for history, created an organization by calling psychologist from an article he wrote,” History of Psychology: A Neglected Area” (Watson, 1960). Watson found people with similar goal from the American Psychological Association into a History of Psychology which eventually became APA (#26) in 1965. Since he started the group he naturally became the first president of the association. Two more important people in history that established an Archive for History of American Psychology (AHAP) was Marion McPherson and John Popplestone. “The AHAP collection in 1965 included the following: the papers of...

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