Psychology

The first Psychological Research Laboratories in America



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It has only been in the past two centuries that laboratories have been used to research the reasons behind psychological problems in patience.  For years, those who suffered from psychological problems were subjected to cruel taunts and accusations.  Many people who had any mental health issues at all were even accused of paranormal activity and were put to death as a result.  All this began to change, when researchers psychologists began to investigate the science behind mental health.


The first laboratory for psychological demonstrations in the United States was opened in 1875.  It was a small laboratory, owned by William James, a tutor of Harvard and his original intention to use the laboratory for his teaching.  It was only really used to demonstrate psychological science, rather than actually to research psychology, so many argue that this, in fact, was not the first research laboratory for psychology in America.  Regardless of the thoughts of the critics, a sequence of lessons called “the senses and the brain and their relation to thought”, delivered by William James, explored a notion that the human state of consciousness must have an evolutionary function.  William James also wrote some of his experimental works whilst working in the laboratory.

At the John Hopkins university in 1879, a philosophy lecturer called Charles Peirce was employed, and it is Hopkins who is considered by most to have carried out the first psychology experimentations in the university laboratory.  His studied were related to color vision and he co wrote an article entitled “On Small Differences in Sensation”.  Following this, in 1883, Charles Pierce, along with G. Stanley Hall opened the first ever research only laboratory in America.  G. Stanley Hall continues

In the years that followed, further psychological research laboratories were opened.  The University of Pennsylvania, Clark University, Indiana University and The University of Nebraska all launched laboratories between 1887 and 1889 so that tutors and scholars alike could study psychological developments and write their own journals and papers.  It wasn’t until 1924 however that an entire university building would become solely associated with the experimental research of psychology in America.

Eno Hall, which is located on the grounds of Princeton was built in 1924 and is the place where the propositions for many future psychological experiments were made.  The way in which psychologists perceived psychology was completely re structured.  Such things as the effects that social and environmental factors have on psychology were explored, and this led to professionals gaining a better understanding of human psychology.

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  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://psychology.about.com/od/researchmethods/a/what-is-experimental-psychology.htm
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