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Robert Sessions Woodworth (1869-1962) was an influential American academic psychologist of the first half of the twentieth century. His textbook Psychology: A study of mental life, which appeared first in 1921, went through many editions and was the first introduction to psychology for generations of undergraduate students. His 1938 textbook of "Experimental Psychology" was scarcely less influential, especially in the 1954 2nd edition, written with Harold H. Schlosberg.

In the 1929 second edition of the earlier text, Woodworth introduced the expression Stimulus-Organism-Response (S-O-R) to describe his functionalist approach to psychology and to stress its difference from the strictly Stimulus-Response (S-R) approach of the behaviorists.

During World War One, Woodworth created the Woodworth Personal Data Survey (WPDS), which has been called the first personality test. The WPDS was designed to identify new recruits who were likely to suffer "shell shock" while fighting overseas. Although the test was designed too late for it to be used operationally, the test was highly influential in the development of later personality inventories.


He was elect APA President in 1914.

Preceded by:
Howard C. Warren
APA President
1914
Succeeded by:
John B. Watson

See alsoEdit

PublicationsEdit

BooksEdit

  • Woodworth, R.S. {1921)Psychology: A study of mental life
  • Woodworth, R.S. & Schloshberg, H.H. {1954) Experimental Psychology. (2nd ed)

Book ChaptersEdit

PapersEdit

  • Thorndike, Edward L. & Woodworth, Robert S. (1901a). The influence of improvement in one mental function upon the efficiency of other functions (I). Psychological Review, 8, 247-261 Full text]
  • Thorndike, Edward L. & Woodworth, Robert S. (1901b). The influence of improvement in one mental function upon the efficiency of other functions: II. The estimation of magnitudes. Psychological Review, 8, 384-395. Full text
  • Thorndike, Edward L. & Woodworth, Robert S. (1901c). The influence of improvement in one mental function upon the efficiency of other functions: III. Functions involving attention, observation, and discrimination. Psychological Review, 8, 553-564.Full text

Further readingEdit

Woodworth, Robert S.. (1930). Autobiography of Robert S. Woodworth. In C. Murchison (Ed.), History of psychology in autobiography (Vol. 2, pp. 359-380). Worcester, MA: Clark University Press. Full text]

External linksEdit

  • [Category:Philosophy]]w.comnet.ca/~pballan/Woodworth.htm Biography by Paul F. Ballantyne]
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