The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of Modern Psychology Reference library
The history of psychology as a scholarly field has grown and diversified since the landmark volumes of E. G. Boring’s A History of Experimental Psychology (1929, 1950). It is now a site of scholarly inquiry that attracts practitioners from a range of disciplines. Psychological concepts and practices hold interest for people from all walks of life and from around the globe. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of Modern Psychology reflects the range of such interest. The essays found here explore topics from everyday subjective experiences to deep connections among esoteric laboratory sciences and Enlightenment philosophies. Our contributors seek to answer difficult questions about how psychology developed, not only in the Western world, but across the globe. Human history has many examples of how people have used knowledge about themselves, others, and their world to try and change or improve their lives. How did these experiences help make possible a science and profession of psychology? In turn, how has scientific and professional psychology shaped or influenced the psychology of everyday life?
The reader will find in these essays key insights into the profound differences that have marked the growth of Western modernity—race, gender, sexuality among them—and what they reveal about selfhood, identity, and possibilities for human freedom and oppression. In our own time, we see the psychological, economic, and political legacy of past practices and the profound inequities that we now must address. We hope these histories will help readers find or create counter-histories that help us move toward a more equitable world.