Mary Whiton Calkins Essay

1475 words - 6 pages

Mary Whiton Calkins
Natalie Scrivens
Katrina Ramos

The field of psychology is one that seems to be dominated with the presence of men especially in the 18th and 19th century. The world was not focused on equal rights for women. Psychology did however have women who contributed greatly to the study and focus of theories

and ideas that we still use today. In this paper I will discuss the life of Mary Whiton Calkins, theoretical prospective, and contributions to the field of psychology.
Mary Whiton Calkins was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1863. She was the daughter of a Presbyterian minister and was the oldest of five children. Mary had a very close relationship ...view middle of the document...

Mary was offered a position as a tutor in Greek and she began her position in 1887. Mary remained in the universities Greek department for three years. Mary was recognized for her ability to teach and was offered to teach psychology. Psychology was still in its beginning stages and was a sub discipline of philosophy. The only requirement of the position was that she studies in psychology for one year. She faced many challenges because very were only a few schools for psychology. The other challenge was the few schools offering courses for psychology were not admitting women. She started inquiring about what schools to study at. She finally decided to study at a school that was close to home and had a psychological lab. Harvard was one of the few schools who have a lab. She received a letter from two professors to sit in on their lectures. When she requested to sit in on the lectures the university President Eliot refused Calkins admittance. Her father requested that his daughter be admitted to the lectures. Mary also received a letter of referral from the President of Wellesley College so that she could gain admittance to the lecture. Harvard approved the petition. She was permitted to attend the seminars of James and Royce. The university’s records stated that by accepting this privilege Miss Calkins would not become a student of the university entitled to registration. She began classes that fall at Harvard. She also began studying experimental psychology with Dr Edmond Sanford of Clark University. In the fall of 1891 she returned to Wellesley College as an instructor of psychology. She established a psychology lab the same year. She sought to further her education so she filed for permission to attend Professor Munsterberg’s lab. The university’s President said that she would be admitted to the lab as a guest but not as a registered student of the university.
She started writing and conducting several experiments within the field of psychology. She invented the paired associate technique. This was a suggested classification of cases of associations. She research she originated a technical method for studying memory, later referred to as the method of paired associates. She continued to conduct research under Professor Munsterberg until October 1894. Professor Munsterberg wrote to Harvard requesting that Calkins be admitted an s a candidate for the PHD Harvard considered and refused. In 1895 she returned to Wellesley College where she was made an associate professor of psychology and philosophy and was promoted to professor in 1898. She wrote several hundred papers between the two disciplines and wrote four books. In 1900 she developed self psychology. Calkins was the first to discover the psychology of selves. She called it reconciliation between structured and functional psychology. Her first basic definition of psychology is as follows: She felt all sciences dealt with facts and that there were two classes of facts. Fact-selves and...

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