Women in Psychology - Margaret Washburn

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Women in Psychology – Margaret Floy Washburn
May 23, 2011
Women in Psychology Margaret Floy Washburn was an accomplished and highly-recognized woman within the field of psychology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her interests were equally divided between science and philosophy and thus, Washburn made the decision “…to pursue “the wonderful new science of experimental psychology…” (Goodwin, 2008, pg. 200, para. 2). Under the tutelage of E. B. Titchener, a British psychologist, Washburn became the first woman to receive a doctorate in psychology in the year 1894 – a monumental feat at the time. Her field of study was “…of the effects of visual imagery on tactile sensitivity” (Goodwin, 2008, pg. 200, para. 2).
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3, para. 2). Washburn the Teacher. In 1903, Washburn returned to her alma mater, Vassar College. For the rest of her life, her studies and commitment remained to both psychology and Vassar. “Under her leadership, within five years an independent department of psychology was formed. Settling at Vassar gave Washburn personal satisfactions, a laboratory, and a position from which she vigorously continued to pursue the many psychological, esthetic, and literary interests through which she more firmly established herself as an eminent person both in her own time and in psychology’s history” (Goodman, 1980, pg. 5, para. 2). As stated previously, Washburn was a leading pioneer for women in the field of psychology. Her teachings demanded excellence of all of her students – in particular, the women. With her encouragement, many of her female students pursued graduate degrees in the various areas of psychology. Feeling appreciative of her support, in 1928 Washburn’s students presented her with a generous gift of over $15,000. Rather than use that money for her own pleasure, Washburn established scholarship funds for students of psychology at Vassar. (Goodman, 1980, pg. 6, para. 3). Washburn the Author. Washburn’s most widely recognized and acclaimed publication was The Animal Mind. Written at the start of the beginning of the 20th century, it
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