Eastern Michigan University
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CCHP field trip

Friday, April 7th, 2017 students from the Psychology 451 (Dynamics of Personality) class, along with their instructor Sharon Nelson, spent the day at the Drs. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology museum in Akron, Ohio. The museum is not yet open to the public due to renovations, but the students received a private tour of the new space and upcoming exhibits, before heading to the archives to focus on research.

The class spent the morning learning how to engage in archival research and analyze old documents, including evaluating popular phrenology journals from 1875, listening to the “missing Henonville Songs” recording from the Holocaust, and evaluating testing materials used by psychologists on Ellis Island in the 1900's to determine if immigrants were “mentally fit enough”  to enter the country.

In addition, the students spent the afternoon evaluating personality assessment materials and protocols from the last 100 years. As the first class to be granted access to these materials, they engaged in comparative analysis of how the methods have changed over the decades. The students had a lot of fun critiquing methods from the earlier decades, as well as considering which elements of testing are still an issue or still in use today. The students hope to report some of their findings in a poster at a research conference in the future.