Even the Rat Was White: A Historical View of Psychology / Edition 2

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Racism in psychological treatment is still happening today!
-- This subject affects everyone in our society. It is of particularl interest to psychologists, family therapists, sociologists, social workers, and members of the legal profession.
-- Diversity is the topic at this year's American Psychological Association (APA) convention held in Chicago in mid-August.
-- Discover why the concerns of psychologists who questioned biased research were ignored, and learn about the hardships faced by minority psychologists.

The first edition of this book broke new ground. This new edition continues to address the question of racial and other biases in psychology. This controversial book brings to light some of the more bizarre turns the study of human differences has taken. Studies which supported Black inferiority were immediately accepted while studies which questioned white superiority were pushed aside. Youill find: how the Europeans and Africans viewed each other and how these attitudes influenced European and American ideas for centuries; why the concerns of psychologists who questioned biased research were ignored; how racist psychological arguments were used to show why desegregation wouldnit work; the often-overlooked contributions of minority psychologists to the field, and much more.

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Editorial Reviews

Nine chapters discuss various aspects of psychology and racial differences and put the subject in the context of the role of racial considerations and Euro-American attitudes in the development of the social sciences since the 1870s. This edition (previous, 1976) adds new research and insights. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205149933
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/5/1997
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 282
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

All chapters close with "Notes."


1. "The Noble Savage" and Science.
Religious Views.
Philosophical and Scientific Views.
The Noble Savage View.
Skin Color Measurement.
Hair Texture Measurements.
Measuring Hair Color.
Measuring Thickness of Lips.
Anthropometry and Blacks.
Defining Racial Differences.
Classification of Black-White mixtures.
Cultural Anthropologists.
Early Black Anthropologists.
"No Scientific Basis for Discrimination."

2. Brass Instruments and Dark Skins.
Ethnical Psychology.
Racial Designations.
Literary and Philosophical Biases.
Nativism: Themes of Racial Differences.
American Psychology and Racial Investigations.
Archives of Psychology and Racial Studies.

3. Psychometric Scientism.
How Significant are Significant Differences?
Mental Tests.
Stanford-Binet Revisions.
Lewis Terman.
Black-White Mental Testing.
Children to Adult and Individual to Mass Testing.
Postwar Psychological Measurements.
The United States Indian Schools.
Mexican Americans and IQ Testing.
The Mulatto Hypotheses.
Reactions of Black Scholars and Communities.
Black Graduate Students Respond.
Intelligence Testing and the Courts.
Wechsler-Bellevue Scale.
Personality Testing of Minority Groups.
Race Studies and Anti-Semitism.

4. Psychology and Race.
Suspicious Statistical Shenanigans.
White Rats and Mazes.
Psychology and Eugenics.
Carnegie Station for Experimental Evolution.
Applied Eugenics and Euthenics.
Findings of the Research Committee.
"Degenerate" Families.
Eurocentrism: Cycle of Scientific Racism.
The Pioneer Fund.
Black Americans and Psychology.


5. Psychology of Survival and Education.
The Psychology of Survival.
Identification with the Slave Master.
Flight and Escape Reactions.
Aggressive Reactions.
The Emergence of Black Colleges.
Teaching Psychology in Black Colleges: Similarities, Not Differences.
Library and Research Facilities in Black Colleges.

6. Black Psychologists: Training, Employment, and Organizations.
Philanthropic Foundations.
Employment in the Black College.
Black Psychologists Organize.
Toward a Black Psychology.
Toward Traditional Psychology.

7. Production of Black Psychologists in America.

8. Francis Cecil Sumner: Father of Black American Psychologists.


9. The Past is Prologue.
The Myth of Mental Measurement.
Psychology and Politics.
Old Wine, New Bottles.
The Bell Curve: 'Round and 'Round We Go.



Name Index.

Subject Index.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2004


    Robert V. Guthrie¿s classic novel, Even the Rat Was White: A Historical View of Psychology, is an excellent historical document that views psychology from multiple perspectives. Guthrie sites many archival documents that are not found in typical, mainstream resources, which exposes students and educators alike to not only elusive but also informative material. It is an excellent source for informing and intriguing readers and inquiring minds about the impact that African-American psychologists have had on the field of psychology. The first part, or section, of Guthrie¿s literary work focuses on the ¿scientific¿ measure of race and racial differences. From physical appearance (e.g., Shaxby and Bonnell¿s photometer) to mental aptitude (e.g., the Stanford-Binet and Wechsler-Bellevue scales), there existed a myriad of measurement devices and instruments for measuring racial differences. Of course, the majority of these measurements indicated the racial inferiority of American minorities (viz., African-American inferiority). The spurious results were the product of three major factors: (a) experimenter expectancy, which was due, for example, to the previous research of eugenicists such as Francis Galton and Charles Davenport, (b) culturally-biased instruments or measures, and (c) suspicious statistical analyses (e.g., Charles Babbage noted the unethical practices of ¿trimming¿ and ¿cooking¿ data sets.). As stated previously, the result of the measure of racial differences led to an assumption of minority inferiority. Even though much research has been conducted to invalidate and repudiate these claims (e.g., M. J. Mayo and Horace Mann Bond have produced literature in support of racial equality.), the segregation of ethnic groups, which was supported by prominent psychologists such as Henry Garrett, has existed in the past, and stereotypes and negative opinions about minorities continue to plague American society today. It is clear that not only the field of psychology but also society held beliefs about racial inferiority and/or superiority. As the title of Guthrie¿s book, Even the Rat Was White, indicates, this belief was even generalized to animals (in this case, rats). Ignoring the fact that characteristics such as intelligence are multifaceted variables that cannot be sufficiently measured with one test or instrument, research supporting the congenital abilities of animals (e.g., Robert Choate Tryon¿s ¿maze-bright¿ and ¿maze-dull¿ rats study) was generalized to humans. Just as the majority of researchers and theorists were White, which subsequently produced ¿White¿ theories, and measurement instruments were culturally biased in favor of European Americans, experimental rats were also white. The second part of Guthrie¿s book enlightens the reader of the early trials and tribulations of African-American scholars. The author describes the systematic manner in which black scholars were denied the opportunity to study psychology, publish their work, and receive recognition and financial aid. He also pays tribute to many Black scholars by providing short bibliographies, which includes a list of contributions. Some of these scholars include Francis Cecil Sumner, the first African American to receive a PhD in psychology, and Joseph White, a founder of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi). This historical overview of many prominent, African-American psychologists was interesting and insightful. It enables the reader to develop an appreciation for the problems faced by Black scholars and discover important contributions such as Kenneth B. Clark¿s research on the detrimental effects of racial segregation, which eventually influenced the 1954 Supreme Court decision that required public schools to racially integrate their classrooms. Without this resource, one would encounter much obstacle in acquiring such information. The final section of Guthrie¿s book is briefly discusses the implications of

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