John B. Watson
John was raised in a poor
family in California. His mother wished for him to be a minister, while his
father was absent. He studied at Furman University where he did very poorly, especially
in psychology. After his mother died he was allowed to study philosophy instead
of ministry. He then graduated from the University of Chicago with a PhD in
psychology. He then stayed there and worked as an assistant and faculty member.
He eventually moved to John Hopkins University where he did much of his work.
However, his work was cut short after a scandalous affair with his research assistant
called for his resignation. Watson moved into advertising and studying its effect
on purchasing. After retirement he lived n a farm until death. His major work
includes “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It”, editing the Psychology Review, and being the
president of the American Psychological Association. His aforementioned paper
was a landmark paper for behaviorism.
Titchener was a student
of Wundt. He studied at Oxford University and received his PhD from University
of Leipzig in psychology. He did most of his work at Cornell where he was a professor,
head of the Psychology Department, and editor of Studies from the Department of Psychology of Cornell University. He
was also the editor of Mind and the American Journal of Psychology. He focused
on bringing Wundt’s work to the United States and helped form psychology in the
way that it is currently practiced. Titchener practiced and taught structuralism
and systematic psychology. Titchener was widely regarded as working to spread
the word of Wundt in America. His core-context
theory of meaning theory has been used and cited many times, giving proof
of his prolific work.
Both people that I
researched were white men. This is not surprising for the time period in which
they were working. I was a little bit surprised by the background of Watson
since he did not grow up in the upper class. I think that their status in the
community affected the way that they published work and did research although I
am not sure how. It is hard to compare their ideas to someone not in their
situation because most published authors from this era were white men. I hope
in future explorations to find women or men of color that made an impact in the
history of psychology.