1st Edition

Portraits of Pioneers in Developmental Psychology

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ISBN 9781848728967
Published October 26, 2011 by Psychology Press
352 Pages

USD $56.95

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Book Description

Utilizing an informal, sometimes humorous style of writing, this book brings to life 16 developmental psychologists who made a significant contribution to their field. Written by noted scholars, each chapter provides a glimpse into the personal and scholarly lives of these innovative "pioneers". Some of the chapters are based on the contributor's personal acquaintance with a pioneer allowing for the introduction of previously unavailable information. Suggested Readings allow readers to delve deeper into the material and a tabular list of subjects and authors helps instructors supplement their courses in substantive areas of psychology with ease. 

The introductory essay prepares the reader for a deeper understanding of the contributions of each of the pioneers. Mamie Phipps Clark had a profound impact on the education of American children.  Robert W. White pioneered a new approach to the study of persons across the lifespan.  Lois Barclay Murphy’s perspective on the strengths of developing children foreshadowed later developments in positive psychology.  Florence Goodenough pioneered new testing methods for children.  John Paul Scott was a pioneer in the field of behavior genetics. The book also highlights the many contributions of European pioneers: Jean Piaget, Charlotte Bühler, Heinz Werner, and Lev Vygotsky. Their contributions were carried forward by J. McVicker Hunt in the U.S. and Helena Antipoff in Brazil. Arnold Gesell’s film studies of children’s development remain a landmark accomplishment. Lawrence Kohlberg pioneered the study of moral development across the lifespan. Roger Barker’s studies on aggression and leadership among children eventually led to the development of ecological psychology. Eleanor "Jackie" Gibson was famous for her work on the "visual cliff" and for her research on perception and development.  Finally, Sidney Bijou had a long career delineating ways to improve the lives of children.  Pickren’s concluding essay draws connections between the pioneers and how they contributed to the advancement of the field.

Intended as a supplementary text for undergraduate and/or graduate courses in the history of psychology and/or developmental, child, or lifespan psychology taught in psychology, education, and human development, this engaging book also appeals to those interested in and/or teaching these subject areas. Each of the 7 volumes in the Portraits of Pioneers Series contain different profiles bringing more than 140 of psychology’s pioneers to life.

Table of Contents

W.E. Pickren, Foundations of Human Experience.  F. Weizmann, B. Harris, Arnold Gesell: The Maturationist. A. Johnson, Florence L. Goodenough: Developmental Pioneer, Innovator, and Mentor. J. Valsiner, Heinz Werner: A Differentiation Theory of Development. R.H. de Freitas Campos, Helena Antipoff: A Quest for Democracy and Human Rights With the Help of Pscyhological Science. W.R. Woodward, Charlotte Buhler: Scientific Entrepreneur in Developmental, Clinical, and Humanistic Psychology. B.C. Beins, Jean Piaget: Theorist of the Child's Mind. A. Yasnitsky, Lev Vygotsky: Philologist and Defectologist, A Sociointellectual Biography. E. Johnston, Lois Barclay Murphy: A Pioneer of Positivity. M.M. Scott,  Roger Barker: A Different Kind of Developmentalist. S.C. Oullette, Robert W. White: A Life in the Study of Lives. W.E. Pickren, Joseph McVicker Hunt: Golden Age Psychologist. E.K. Morris, Sidney W. Bijou: Outstanding (and Out Standing) in His Fields. D.A. Dewsbury, John Paul Scott: The Study of Genetics, Development, and Social Behavior. H.L. Pick, Eleanor J. Gibson: Learning to Perceive, Perceiving to Learn. A. Rutherford, Mamie Phipps Clark: Developmental Psychologist, Starting from Strengths. J.R. Snarey, Lawrence Kohlberg: Moral Biography, Moral Psychology, and Moral Pedagogy. W.E. Pickren, Eyes on the Prize: Psychologists and Human Development.

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Wade E. Pickren is Editor of History of Psychology and has served as the Historian of the American Psychological Association since 1998. He is Past-President of the Society for the History of American Psychology (APA Division 26). He received his Ph.D. in the History of Psychology from the University of Florida. Dr. Pickren is a widely respected author of books, journal articles, many conference presentations, and encyclopedia entries and the former section editor on the history of psychology for the American Psychologist.   

Donald A. Dewsbury, Professor Emeritus of the University of Florida received his PhD is from the University of Michigan followed by postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley. He has served as President of three APA divisions (general psychology, behavioral neuroscience and comparative psychology, and history of psychology) and the Animal Behavior Society. He is the author or editor of 17 volumes and has published over 360 articles and chapters. In 2008 APA’s Division 26 presented him with a "lifetime achievement award."

Michael Wertheimer is Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado at Boulder. He received his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Harvard University. He is co-editor of the first 6 volumes of the Portraits of Pioneers in Psychology series. A past-president of 4 APA divisions (general psychology, teaching of psychology, theoretical and philosophical psychology, and history of psychology) and the recipient of 2 national awards for the teaching of psychology, in 2000, APA’s Division 26 presented him with a "lifetime achievement award for sustained, outstanding, and unusual contributions to the history of psychology."


"This volume is enlightening and fresh. ... Graduate students and scholars alike will learn much about the evolution of the field of developmental psychology [and] will be struck by how truly pioneering and forward thinking many of these psychologists’ ideas were. ... Appropriate for graduate courses in history, systems, or theories of psychology." - Tasha R. Howe, Humboldt State University, USA

"This is a refreshing examination of the history of developmental psychology. Not only are the usual pioneers such as Vygotsky, Gesell and Piaget represented but some of the less well recognized albeit important contributors are included as well. This volume is a reminder of how much we can learn from our forebears. A valuable resource for undergraduate and graduate courses in developmental psychology, the history of psychology and education, the book will also be a must read for historically-minded scholars." - Ross D. Parke, Emeritus, University of California, Riverside, USA

"An irresistible collection of in-depth biographical essays that are both provocative and satisfying. No serious student of development should be without it. A splendid collection -- sometimes surprising, always satisfying. The choice to focus on developmental psychology in this volume adds immeasurably to an already remarkable series." - John D. Hogan, St. John’s University, USA

"The behavioral arc of experience begins in childhood, a perspective championed by the pioneers profiled in this wonderful volume. Pickren, Dewsbury, and Wertheimer’s authors crafted scholarly, accessible, and personal portraits of major theorists who shaped developmental psychology. The results are engaging, enlightening reading." - Dana S. Dunn, Professor of Psychology, Moravian College, USA

"A major and significant contribution to the history of psychology  ... the selected developmental psychologists are a worthy bunch. ... The … book [is] appropriate for History and Systems of Psychology ... and the first year course taken by our applied developmental psychology students.  ... I would use the book in my own course … and would recommend it to my colleagues." – Mark E. Mattson, Fordham University, USA

"The volume will make a valuable contribution to the scholarship in the history of psychology. ... [It] could be used [for courses] on the history of … psychology, history of developmental psychology … [or] developmental theory.  … The psychologists … selected … made significant contributions … [to] … developmental psychology. " – Harry Heft, Denison University, USA

"The authors all appear to have been carefully chosen for their expertise.  I would read it, and recommend it to my library."  – Brian D. Cox,  Hofstra University, USA

"The chapters were quite interesting and informative. ... Students would find the writing very accessible. ... I would recommend it highly. …The editors are all well known historians. ... [It] will … complement a standard book on the history of psychology. ...The authors have chosen notable psychologists whose work has had a significant impact on the discipline." – Barney Beins, Ithaca College, USA