To quote the author: ?Classics in the History of Psychology is an effort to make the full texts of a large number of historically significant public domain documents from the scholarly literature of psychology and allied disciplines available on the World Wide Web.? This is an ongoing effort, and currently there are more than 25 books and approximately 200 articles and excerpts on-line. In addition to the original works available at this site, the author has also provided numerous links to other relevant works and a question and answer forum that appears to be updated regularly.
Type of Material:
Reference material (text).
This site would be useful as a reference for any high school or lower level college psychology course. It could also be used by anyone wishing to understand the history of psychology and see the classic views presented as they were when they were timely positions, as opposed to ones of historical note.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
There are two potential learning goals. 1. Access to original works has the potential to provide additional and original insight into historically significant writings in the discipline of psychology. 2. Easy and searchable access to original works can be a valuable aid for writing archival research papers.
Target Student Population:
In the author?s words: ?The target audience is researchers, teachers, and students of the history of psychology.?
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The selection of works included is superb. The author is assisted by a diverse editorial board and editorial assistants. The site provides a variety of information and is well-organized.
As with any limited collection ? there are omitted works which other reviewers might have included. Some discussion of how the field has developed over time would put the materials into a useful context. The mission of this site is limited, so these are not really criticisms, but merely observations.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The articles contained in the site may be located by means of an index, or by using the keyword search capability. Advanced searches are also possible. The learning processes engaged by fully using the site include requiring students to discover knowledge on their own and to engage receptive learning through access to text. An instructor could assign students to read through some of the writings and discuss how views have and have not changed, requiring students to compare these classical works with the modern works to which they are accustomed.
Some significant works may not be properly indexed. For example, a keyword search for Id (a Freudian concept) and ?Pleasure AND Principle? (Boolean) failed to find a match. However, ?Dr. AND Breuer? did locate Freud?s first lecture on The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement.
Some searches also revealed numerous dead links. I think this was the result of an underlying programming error in the search engine rather than missing documents, but annoying none-the-less.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Articles may be located by means of an index, or by using the keyword search capability. Advanced searches are possible. The alphabetical index of works in the collection is a nice feature,
and makes it relatively easy to locate a source by author or topic.
While the site is designed so as to be searchable, logical search strategies are not always effective. There are a limited number of topics in the index, and many of the search result links were broken.
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