HALL, G. (GLANVILLE) STANLEY

Hall, a pioneer in educational psychology, was bom in Massachusetts, and graduated from Williams College.He then attended the Union Theological Seminary and the University of Bonn, and after completing his divinity degree, began his professional career by teaching philosophy, modem languages, and English at Antioch College (1872-76). During this period his interest in psychology was aroused by Wilhelm Wundt’s Physiological Psychology, and he decided to go to Harvard to study under William James. There he received what is believed to be the first Ph.D. in psychology granted in America (1878). During the following two years Hall lived in Germany, studying not only with Wundt but with the physiologist Ludwig and the physicist Helmholtz. Upon returning to the United States, he obtained a position at Johns Hopkins and in 1883 opened the first official psychology laboratory in this country. Four years later he founded the first American psychological periodical, the American Journal of Psychology.During his years at Johns Hopkins (1882-88), Hall established himself as an outstanding critic of education, and published, among other works, The Ctents of Children’s Minds (1883). When Jonas Gilman Clark established Clark University, he was chosen its first president and, after a year in which he examined universities in almost every country in Europe, the new university was opened with a heavy emphasis on research. In the years that followed, Hall founded two other journals, the Pedagogical Seminary (1891) (now the Journal of Genetic Psychology), the Journal of Religious Psychology (1904- 14), and the Journal of Applied Psychology (1915). He was elected first president of the American Psychological Association when it was established in 1892, and was re-elected in 1924, the year of his death.Despite his studies with Wundt, Hall felt that the “new psychology” could not do justice to all psychological phenomena because of its exclusive concern with consciousness and introspection. He took the position that the general doctrines of psychoanalysis filled in many of the gaps in the psychology of his day, and therefore invited both Freud and Jung to lecture at Clark in 1909. This event introduced the American public to psychoanalytic theory. In 1920 Hall again gave impetus to the movement by translating Freud’s widely read book, General Introduction to Psychoanalysis.Hall’s greatest contributions lie in the area of educational psychology. In 1893 he started an extremely fruitful child study movement at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Between that date and 1903 he and his associates investigated the child’s experience by administering over 102 different questionnaires on such topics as anger, dolls, crying and laughing, fears, prayer and other religious experiences. This technique, which he had come across in Germany, revealed the need for teaching children many things which adults assumed they learned by themselves—for example, he found that 80 per cent of primary school children in Boston knew thatmilk came from cows, but only 10 per cent knew that animals are the source of leather. Moreover, 20 per cent of the children had never seen a cow or hen, and a much larger percentage had not seen a crow or a beehive. One result of this type of research was the creation of a department of pedagogy at Clark; it also had the effect of stimulating interest in child guidance among professional educators.The new area of study was greatly advanced when Hall published his observations on older children in a monumental two volume work, Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion and Education (1904). The book came out at a time when there was widespread hope that psychology would unlock the secrets of a scientific education for all, and an abbreviated addition of the book entitled Youth, its Education, Regimen and Hygiene (1906) became a standard text in colleges and normal schools. See ADOLESCENCE (THEORIES).Hall’s viewpoint has been termed “synthetic psychology” since it was broadly eclectic in approach. However, he leaned heavily toward biological interpretations, and has been described by Boring (1950) as “a genetic psychologist, that is to say, a psychological evolutionist who was concerned with animal and human development and all the secondary problems of adaptation and development.” As Murphy (1949) has pointed out, this biological emphasis led to the outright exclusion of cultural factors. As examples, he believed that the “big-Injun” war play of preadolescent children represented a phase of the child’s recapitulation of the history of the race; and he viewed adolescence almost entirely from the standpoint of the organic changes which take place during this period.Hall wrote a number of other books in the psychological field—among them Educational Problems (1911) and Founders of Modem Psychology (1912). He brought his early interest in religion into relation to psychology in Jesus, the Christ, in the Light of Psychology (1917), and stated his views on war in Morale, the Supreme Standard in Life and Conduct (1920). He retired from Clark in 1919 at the age of 75, and then addressed himself to the problems of aging, publishing Senescence: the Last Half of Life, in 1922.

Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "HALL, G. (GLANVILLE) STANLEY," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/hall-g-glanville-stanley/ (accessed October 17, 2019).
SHARE