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Psychology Department records

 Collection
Identifier: RG0078

Collection Scope and Content

This collection consists of one box of faculty meeting minutes from 1925 to 2000. The Psychology Department transferred the collection in 2000 to the University Archives of the Special Collections Department.

Formerly RG9.24

Dates

  • 1925-2000

Creator

Restrictions on Access

Some records may be restricted.

Restrictions on Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Historical or Biographical Note

The Department of Psychology, of George Washington University (GW), contributes to the mission of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS) at the George Washington University by offering both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Psychology is currently the largest undergraduate program in CCAS with respect to the number of declared majors. The department has doctoral programs in Clinical Psychology (fully accredited by the American Psychological Association), Cognitive Neuroscience, and Applied Social Psychology. Each year, the department awards approximately ten Ph.D. degrees. At all levels of instruction, the educational programs make extensive use of and focus upon the Washington area's many and varied resources. General psychology was first offered at George Washington University in 1905 as an introductory course in the Department of Philosophy. Additional introductory courses in educational and social psychology were added alongside upper-level courses in educational and experimental psychology in 1907. A separate Department of Psychology was established in 1908, and courses were offered in general, comparative, social, abnormal, and experimental psychology. Philosophy and psychology were merged the following year with education and remained so until 1913; no courses in social psychology were offered during these years.

Education was separated permanently from philosophy and psychology as a department of its own in 1913. From then until 1921, the only psychology course offerings in the Department of Philosophy and Psychology were in general, experimental, and educational psychology. From 1921 to 1931, despite being merged with philosophy departmentally, psychology was available sui generis as a master of arts and/or a doctor of philosophy degree and was categorized as a field of research dually under Philosophy and Art and Biological Sciences. The dual classification of psychology and its earlier intermingling with education reflect aforementioned influences in psychology's origin and in that of its industrial-organizational subfield.

The Graduate Council at GW gave its first Ph.D. in Psychology to Fred A. Moss (1893–1966) in 1922. Largely a behaviorist, Moss was working a mere 47 miles from (and occasionally collaborated with) John B. Watson (1878 – 1958), who had just three years earlier published his revised textbook on human behavior, Psychology from the Standpoint of the Behaviorist (Hunt & Anderson, 1990; Fancher, 1996). A young graduate of Columbia University, Moss (1922) did his doctoral work at GW on the Methods of Measuring Animal Drives, which was also the subject of Watson's early research (Fancher, 1996). He is best known as the creator of the MCAT, the medical school admissions test that served as a forerunner of numerous aptitude tests such as the SAT.

Thelma Hunt (1903–92) began her 75-year career at GW as an undergraduate and scholarship recipient in 1921. In the six years that followed, Hunt distinguished herself as a full-time student while simultaneously working full-time for the Civil Service Commission (CSC; presently called the Office of Personnel Management). Originally interested in chemistry, she was convinced by Moss to major in psychology, and did so her sophomore year (Hunt & Anderson, 1989). By age 23, Hunt had earned her A.B., A.M., and Ph. D. (all in psychology) and had gained six years of work experience in personnel procedures. Dr. Hunt also received a medical degree from George Washington University, and served as department chair from 1938 to 1963.

Government agencies did not offer many opportunities for women to advance in the 1920s, so Hunt pursued a career in academia. After teaching for one year at Middle Tennessee State Teachers College in Murfreesboro, TN, she returned to GW at the request of Moss as a professor in psychology. Professors Moss and Hunt left a large imprint upon the department, and their legacy is felt today in the area of industrial psychology.

N.B. This history note was written in 2005

Extent

0.75 Linear Feet

Language

English

Abstract

The Department of Psychology, of George Washington University (GW), contributes to the mission of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS) at the George Washington University by offering both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. This collection consists of one box of faculty meeting minutes from 1925 to 2000.

Collection Organization

Organized in two series Faculty meeting minutes and Departmental files. 2 boxes

Formerly RG9.24

Acquisition Information

Materials acquired through transfers from the Psychology Department.
Title
Guide to the Psychology Department records, 1925-2000
Author
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Date
2007
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

Contact:
2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America