(PSYCHOLOGY). BOISEN, Marie. ~ Experimental Psychology. Cambridge (MA). 1899-1900.
Manuscript on paper, small folio (268 × 190 mm), pp. , plus several blanks at rear. Several diagrams plus numerous data outputs from laboratory devices on black and regular paper, one cyanotype photograph. Original cloth backed boards with brass paper fasteners (label and stamp: ‘University note covers’ and ‘Charles W. Sever & Company’, Cambridge.
Psychology lecture notes from Harvard University by an early female student, Marie Boisen. Beginning with basic concepts of individual difference, the notes then report a series of lectures on physiological responses to mental activity making use of a series of experimental apparatus, the sphygmagraph, ergograph and pendulum chronoscope to measure response during differing mental states (rest, computation, pain, laughter etc). The results are recorded with illustrations and data outputs.
Psychology as a discipline at Harvard began as a branch of philosophy in the 1870s, with courses in the ‘new’ physiological psychology, but by 1892, Hugo Munsterberg had been appointed professor of experimental psychology and director of the psychological laboratory. Women were evidently represented quite strongly by 1899, with some 8 or the class of 20 being women, according to one of the registers in this manuscript. As a point of reference, an early woman student, Mary Whiton Calkins, attended psychology seminars at Harvard in the later 1880s and worked with Munsterberg in the 90s. Despite being the strongest student of her cohort, and passing the PhD requirements with distinction she was refused a PhD on grounds of gender.