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Prominent Women in American Psychology

Prominent Women in American Psychology
"The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man's attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman (Darwin)."
Darwin's professional assumption of the intelligence of women greatly exemplified the defining opinion of the day when psychology was in its developmental stages.However, many women went to great lengths to disprove and banish this thought.
One such woman was Mary Whiton Calkins. Calkins is perhaps best known for becoming thefirst woman president of the American Psychological Association, a feat unheard of in her time. Unfortunately, the road to achieving this feat was paved with many obstacles and discriminating persons.
Mary Whiton Calkins was born on March 30, 1863.She was born in Buffalo, New York, to Wolcott Calkins, a Presbyterian minister, and was the eldest of five children.The family moved to Newton, Massachusetts, when Mary was seventeen and built a home there that she would live in until her death.Her father was fundamental to Mary's education, designing and supervising her schooling, well aware of the sparse opportunities available to women.In 1882, she was allowed to enter into Smith College with advance standing as a sophomore.Unfortunately, her sister's death in 1883 permanently influenced her thinking and the following year she stayed at home and received private lessons. She reentered Smith in the fall of 1884 as a senior and graduated with a concentration in classics and philosophy.
In 1886, her family moved to Europe for sixteen months. Here, she was able to broaden her knowledge of the classics.After returning to Massachusetts, her father arranged for an interview for her with the president of Wellesley College.There, she was a tutor in Greek beginning in the fall of 1887 and remained in that department for three years.Fortunately, a professor in th…

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