Leta stetter hollingworth speaks on “columbia's legacy”

Stephanie A. Shields, Mary E. Mallory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


At the 1983 APA convention in Anaheim, CA, Divisions 1 and 26 co-sponsored a lecture series to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Edna Heidbreder's Seven Psychologies. Aimed at the general audience, Heidbreder's book described the roots of American psychology and the seven schools of thought most representative of the discipline in this country: structuralism, the psychology of William James, functionalism, behaviorism, Gestalt psychology, Freud and the psychoanalytic movement, and the dynamic psychology of Columbia's Robert Woodworth. At the 1983 APA meetings five scholars with backgrounds in one of the seven psychologies lectured as a figure from the past on the legacy of that school of thought. Stephanie Shields represented Leta Hollingworth (1886–1939), the only woman in the group. Hollingworth was charged with discussing the legacy of Columbia University for contemporary psychology. Her lecture reviews psychological research at Teachers College and Columbia University from 1911 through the 1920s and then evaluates the lasting contribution made by that research to present-day psychology. This paper is the text of that talk, with a few modifications tailored for an audience of feminist psychologists. As an historical fiction the material for this talk is drawn primarily from Hollingworth's own writings, and, insofar as it is possible, it tries to represent accurately the theoretical and ideological concerns she expressed during her career. It attempts to bring her concerns as a psychologist, as an educator, and as a feminist, to bear on the state of present-day psychology, particularly from the perspective of the testing movement between the two world wars. All of the events described here did happen or could have happened. Those that are fictional or represent inference are clearly indicated. Direct quotes from her published work appear within quotation marks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-300
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Leta stetter hollingworth speaks on “columbia's legacy”'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this