The Romance of American Psychology: Political Culture in the Age of Experts

By Commons, Michael L | American Journal of Psychotherapy, Spring 1997 | Go to article overview

The Romance of American Psychology: Political Culture in the Age of Experts


Commons, Michael L, American Journal of Psychotherapy


ELLEN HERMAN: The Romance of American Psychology: Political Culture in the Age of Experts: University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 1995, 406 pp., $35.00 (hard cover) ISBN 0-520-08598-1; $16.95 (pbk.), ISBN 0-520-20703-2.

The Romance of American Psychology reveals what some call a dirty secret and others call common, but rarely written-about knowledge. The book reviews with great clarity the financing during World War I and World War II of much clinical and experimental psychology and psychiatry by the military. Critical questions are asked: Did this funding corrupt the researchers and affect research outcomes by placing them inside of the military industrial complex? How did policy research develop and what were some of the pitfalls? How did the need for strong armed forces lead to research and resultant policy changes in the society at large in such areas as discrimination, education, and poverty?

Introductory chapters present Herman's way of seeing the issues as a whole. A number of subsequent chapters summarize the contributions to psychology and psychiatry that have resulted from defense funding of psychology research. Beginning in World War I, psychological intelligence tests were introduced. The results of these studies shocked the military, leading to an abiding interest in improving the quality of recruits and draftees. Many of the readers of this journal may know that by World War II, psychological tests were extensively used for screening, selecting, and assigning service people. Test-based screening is now widely used in most employment situations.

A second contribution developed out of the work with "shell-shocked" soldiers. What clinicians first thought of as just shell-shock came to be seen as a group of related character, personality, and anxiety disorders, including PTSD and borderline personality disorder with their accompanying depression, all of which are now thought to be caused by trauma during development. Military work with shell-shocked soldiers was one major factor leading to the demand and growth for clinical practice throughout society.

A third impact of defense-related support has been on basic experimental psychological research, There is no question that the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) were instrumental in providing money for much outstanding psychological research ever performed. Certain fields, such as psychophysics, signal-detection theory, color theory, and scaling, acknowledge the Defense Department as the funding source. Curiously, although the book points out how much was discovered under the sponsorship of the Defense Department, much of the research was so basic, that it would be hard to imagine a quick application. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Romance of American Psychology: Political Culture in the Age of Experts
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.