Socio-historical perspectives on the laboratories and apparatus of the new psychology
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
A variety of socio-historical perspectives are offered on the laboratories and apparatus of the New Psychology. The laboratories and apparatus, although defining characteristics of the New Psychology, have been largely ignored by Historians of Psychology. Chapter one considers the laboratory in America. Inconsistencies in secondary source accounts of laboratory establishment dates are traced back to variations amongst early accounts themselves. The physical and organisational nature of the laboratory in its ideal and actual forms, and three stages of laboratory development are identified. Chapter two points to the importance of apparatus in enhancing our understanding of the New Psychology and outlines recent historical work concerning apparatus. The development of apparatus is considered in terms of general development and associated processes. It is suggested that attention to the place of both psychologists and mechanicians in this development will provide further insights into apparatus development. Chapter three provides an historical account of the early development of the laboratory at Canterbury College and a reevaluation of the role of Charles Salmond, the Professor of Philosophy at the College, in this development. The chapter demonstrates the value of utilising primary sources for writing the History of Psychology. Chapter four details a project to collect, identify and preserve various apparatus of the New Psychology once used at Canterbury College. The apparatus is documented in both written and pictorial form.