Running Head: MARGARET FLOY WASHBURN
Margaret Floy Washburn: Life and Legacy
St. Mary’s University
Margaret Floy Washburn was born in 1871. Washburn, being the first woman to complete a degree in psychology, completed her education at an early age. It took only two years to for Washburn to complete a Ph. D program. Washburn was fortunate to be tutored by to great structuralist figures in psychology such as Cattell and Titchener. Washburn received many awards and honors, most recognizable being her nomination as president of the American Psychological Association in 1921. Ironically, she was placed on Cattell’s list of the “1000 most important men in science” and received many gifts and rewards from her colleagues and students. Washburn made important contributions to the field of psychology with publication of The Animal Mind, the only comparative psychology textbook used in classrooms for several decades, as well as her attempts to join different schools of thought in psychology.
Margaret Floy Washburn was born in New York City, New York on July 25, 1871. Washburn’s parents were Rev. Francis and Elizabeth Floy. Washburn was born into a house built by her ancestors and lived there for around eight years. Upon recollection of early childhood memories, her intellectual life began when she turned five. “I felt that I had now reached an age of some importance, and the thought was agreeable” (Washburn, 1930). Washburn started school at the age of seven; however she had learned to read and write at a much earlier age. In her first year and a half she displayed her want and desires to be educated and learned the basics of arithmetic, foundations in several languages including French and German, and acquired the ability to retain perfect pitch in musical notes (Washburn, 1930).
The Washburn family left New York for two years. During this time, Margaret remembered not learning much besides history and physics. Washburn was always...