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Chapter 9

PSYC 3125 Chapter 9: CHAPTER 9

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PSYC 3125
Kate Harper

CHAPTER 9 – THE GOLDEN AGE OF AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGY -war transformed how psychologists conceptualized + intervened in individual + social life, changing how subjectivity itself governed + experienced -laid foundation for growth in federal funding of science + practice -need for help for traumatized combatants gave rise to clinical psychology Preparing for War -research conference by NRC (national research council) to help unify psychology’s war efforts -more prepared for WW2 -important outcome was that interorganizational advisory group, called Emergency Committee in Psychology (ECP) formed to provide national level coordination + oversight of psychology’s involvement in the war National Council of Women Psychologists -women complained, but told to wait + stay at home -women got together in New York to draw up charter for national organization of women psychologists -“goodenough” wasn’t keen on gender agenda, but still lended her name to be president -couldn’t decide on objectives, men made it worse by denying sex discrimination + saying that women being self-indulgent or undermining their status as scientists by highlighting their special status as women -first time women got together to work toward professional advancement -did civilian work + worked on community problems -didn’t do so well -but mildren Mitchell enlisted as lieutenant, and weaseled her way into senior psychologist positions in veterans administration War Service -in US, personnel selection + classification issues -walter bingham developed army general classification test – primary personnel selection tool in war -was constructed to be sensitive to inborn ability + educational experience -work by OSS (office for strategic services), precursor to CIA, henry murray did situational challenge tests as well as lengthy pencil tests -different from other scientist/military relations: work being done at many uni labs in loosely coordinated network with little direct oversight -human factors psychology developed during war (human error due to using complicated weapon systems/aircraft etc) – commissioned psychologists for best design -psychologists thought they were making patriotic contribution + advancing science + psychology, didn’t question agendas Psychiatric Casualties and the Consolidation of Clinical Psychology -most advancement was in clinical treatment of soldiers -psychological difficulties originally seen s personality defects/personal weakness -1944 army devised systematic program to use clinical psychologists -diagnosis + discharge wasn’t good anymore – wanted to treatment + redeploy instead -overflowing patients, needed more federal funding + psychologists, instead of just psychiatrists -training programs in clinical psychology arose out of this Golden Age of Psychology -appeal of psychology + rise of psychological expert in 1950s grounded in culture of post-WW2 America -reversion to gender roles + fear of cold war led to rise in popularity of psychotherapy + increases in federal support for research + training -led to human potential movement in 1960s -critical context for development of psychology after war: mental health as purchasable commodity in eyes of the public -baby boom, wanting homeownership, recovering from depression etc led to more consumerism -americans speaking of the “good life” Good life: common belief in postwar America that the purchase of an individual house in a suburban neighborhood + acquisition of modern-technology, often in form of household goods + appliances, were indicative of status + happiness -home became re-organized around the television -but still fears from cold war + nuclear annihilation, communism + juvenile delinquency amongst own children -racial oppression was struggle for African americans -women after experiencing freedom from war, had to conform to household traditions again + didn’t like it -valium + miltown used to help calm people, psychologists are nicer alternative -first 20 years after WW2, psychoanalysis reached peak of popularity + cultural influence in America -psychoanalysis was not fir for this culture, had bleak view of human nature + had limited promise that it would work -still created cultural opening for psychological therapies -talking about problems to professional became desirable way to deal with problems of everyday living Commoditization of mental health: transformation of mental health services + practices into an everyday commodity for Americans Postwar Initiatives for Training Mental Health Professionals -policy makers concerned for nationals mental health + need to keep US competitive in the world – translated into funds for psychological research -funding had 2 important consequences: 1. Dramatic expansion of research topics beyond pre-war emphasis on learning theory a. Any project related to human behaviour + social functioning received support 2. Programs + funding for training more mental health professionals remade the field of clinical psychology -concerned about high rate of psychiatric casualties -VA clinical psychology training program + NIMH -servicemans readjustment act or GI Bill – provided funding for education of nations veterans, led to rapid growth + expansion of higher education in postwar period -these initiatives created accelerated growth of psychology as science Clinical Psychology and the VA -high patient load, VA understaffed, made 2 responses to the crisis: 1. Established large network of mental hygiene clinics across the country where veterans could go to get help with various complaints on outpatient basis a. Didn’t have enough staff, used group psychotherapy 2. VA reorganized in medical serices to include neuropsychiatry division -to deal with short staff, increased training with VA clinical psychology training program -James Miller in charge of this -APA committed to establishing training education standards for accrediting clinical psychology programs reluctantly + under pressure -worried that without high training, may lead to discredit of the field -lead to doctoral degree entry criterion for clinical psychology National Institute of Mental Health -national mental health act of 1946 created NIMH as one of the national institutes of health (NIH) -increased growth of psychology -led to increased role of federal government in daily lives of citizens -psych useful in social management, this magnified in postwar America -NIMH run by psychiatrists, wanted to increase number of mental health professionals -wanted to make funding appealing to grad students -another impact was financial support of Conference on Graduate Education in Clinical Psychology – what emerged was scientists practitioner model Scientists practitioner model: model that emphasized the importance of clinical training psychologists to be scientists first + practitioners second -sometimes called “boulder mo
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