Women in Psychology
Psy/310 – History and Systems of Psychology
November 22, 2013
Women in Psychology
Throughout history psychology has been around in one form or another. Even though psychology itself is young as a formal discipline, individuals have been asking questions related to psychology since the beginning of written history. Psychology is a field that is continually changing and coming up with new ideas and new treatments for all sorts of psychological problems. For much of psychology’s history men have dominated the field but women have become a main staple in the world of psychology. During the beginning of psychology women were not allowed into the field but there were those brave few that dared to push forward. Margaret Floy Washburn was one of those women pioneers and helped open the doors for all other women.
Margaret Floy Washburn was born on July 25, 1871 in Harlem, New York City. (Pillsbury, 1940, p. 99) Margaret was an only child and her early education came from private tutors. She later attended public schools where she graduated at the age of 15. At the tender age of 16, Margaret enrolled at Vassar College where she took all of the required courses. In addition to those required courses, Margaret had high interests in chemistry and philosophy. Margaret continued her education and graduated from Vassar College in 1890. After her graduation from Vassar College Margaret “decided to pursue the wonderful new science of experimental psychology” (Washburn, 1932, p. 338). It is at this point in Margaret’s life where she became a pioneer for women psychologists and broke down barriers that had been in place for many years.
Margaret had chosen psychology as her life’s work since it seemed to combine her interests of science and philosophy. Margaret decided to apply to for graduate studies at Columbia University. This is where Margaret ran into the same walls as earlier women such as Calkins, and Ladd-Franklin. At this time women were not...