Article ID: CBB692345477

Reevaluating the initial impact of John Broadus Watson on American psychology: The necessity of comparative parameters (2019)


In recent decades, various studies have challenged the traditional view that John Broadus Watson's Behaviorist Manifesto prompted a psychological revolution. However, methodological hindrances underlie all these attempts to evaluate the impact of Watson's study, such as the absence of comparative parameters. This article remedies this problem by conducting a comparative citation analysis involving Watson and eight other representative psychologists of the time: J. R. Angell, H. Carr, J. M. Cattell, J. Dewey, G. S. Hall, W. James, E. L. Thorndike, and E. B. Titchener. Eight important American journals were scrutinized for the period between 1903 and 1923, a decade before and a decade after the publication of Watson's Manifesto. The results suggest that even if Watson's study cannot be taken as revolutionary, it had an impact between 1914 and 1923 that was close to Dewey's, Titchener's, and Thorndike's and higher than Angell's, Carr's, Cattell's, and Hall's, although distant from James's. Finally, some methodological implications of this study are discussed.

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Authors & Contributors
Rutherford, Alexandra
Dobroczyński, Bartłomiej
Simon Torracinta
Gruszka, Aleksandra
Powell, Russell A.
Digdon, Nancy
History of Psychology
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
History of the Human Sciences
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Ethnohistory: Journal of the American Society for Ethnohistory
Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology
University of Pittsburgh
Hill & Wang
Birkhäuser Basel
Research methods
Gestalt psychology
Experimental psychology
Watson, John Broadus
Skinner, Burrhus Frederic
Heinrich, Władysław
Stapledon, Olaf
Rosalie Alberta Rayner
Wundt, Wilhelm Max
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
20th century, late
United States

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