Margaret Floy Washburn was very early 20th century psychologist who conducted extensive study on animal behavior and also motor development. She was the first woman to earn a doctor in psychology.

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Professional Life

Margaret Floy Washburn to be born in brand-new York City on July 25, 1871. She began college in ~ the age of 16and soon became a member the the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority at Vassar college in Poughkeepsie, brand-new York. As soon as she i graduated from Vassar in 1891, she want to research at Columbia University. At that time,women weren't generallypermitted in graduate programs;Washburn was permitted to sit in top top classes in ~ Columbia as an observer. She go on to attend the Sage school of approach at Cornell to occupational withexperimental psychologist E.B. Titchener, who started the concept of emotional structuralism. Washburn to be responsible for all experiments and also research. She earned her master’s degree in 1893, and one year later, she made history as the first woman to earn a doctor in psychology.

She spent 6 years to teach psychology, ethics, and philosophy in ~ Wells College for women, 2 years together warden in ~ Sage College because that women, and one year top the psychology department at the college of Cincinnati. Ultimately, Washburn returned to Vassar in 1903 together an associate professor in psychology. She advanced to professor the psychology in 1908, and she remained there till a stroke demanded her retirement in 1937. Washburn was energetic in the American emotional Association,and she served as president for the combination in 1921. She was additionally a member the the national Research Council and the 2nd woman come be chosen to the national Academy that Sciences. Washburn died in 1939.

Contribution to Psychology

As among the earliest females to go into the ar of psychology, Washburn offered as evidence that women could effectively add to the field. She extensively studied animal behavior and argued the animals' psychological states should be studied alongside their behavior. She outlined these debates in her 1908 book, The pet Mind. The book was commonly popular and also heavily researched, outlining countless experiments in pet psychology, consciousness, and behavior. Unlike few of her contemporaries, who focused primarily on rodents, Washburn check the behavior of end 100 different pet species.

Washburn to be interested in learning just how mental states can be revealed with visible behaviors, and also this led to intensive study of engine development. She said that conscious thought was noticeable in behavior; in other words, all psychological functions create physical reactions. Her book Movement and Mental Imagery presented her theory about the correlation in between mental processes and motor skills. Similarly, Washburn believed that psychology should incorporate the study of behavior and also consciousness—a radical concept that mixed two popular schools of believed on psychology in ~ the time: introspectionism and behaviorism. She wrote more than a hundreds scholarly write-ups on topics consisting of memory, speculative psychology, animal behavior and also psychology, consciousness, spatial reasoning, and individual distinctions in behavior.

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Unlike plenty of psychologists of her time, Washburn rejected much of psychodynamic theory, saying that the was as well speculative. Instead, she adopted elements that functionalism, Gestalt psychology, and also behaviorism, though her work-related in pet cognition undermined part tenets of classic behaviorism.

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