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Leta Hollingworth Important Woman In Psychology

2023 words - 9 pages

PAGE PAGE 8 Leta Stetter Hollingworth
Leta Hollingworth was not only an important figure in the history of psychology but she was also a feminist. Leta Stetter Hollingworth did exceptional work in a variety of areas in psychology but is primarily known for her work with gifted children and their education. She also made contributions in the areas of sex differences (Rutherford, 2003).Leta Stetter Hollingworth was born on May 25th 1886, in Dawes county Nebraska near the town of Chadron to Margaret Elinor Danley and John G. Stetter (Silverman, 1992). Leta S. Hollingworth was the first of three daughters in her family; she never knew her mother as Margaret Danley died after the birth of her ...view middle of the document...

After graduation Leta Hollingworth had the opportunity to gain some experience working at the Clearing House for Mental Detectives where she administered the Binet intelligence test. In 1914, the Civil Service began to monitor the administration of these tests and anyone who wanted to administer them had to become eligible by taking a competitive exam (Silverman, 1992). Leta Hollingworth received the top score and became the first psychologist under Civil Service in New York, this position was at Bellevue Hospital where she was later offered the job of chief of the soon to be psychological lab (Benjamin and Shields, 1990). Leta Hollingworth completed her Ph.D. in June of 1916 at Columbia University under Edward L. Thorndike (Silverman, 1992). It was around this time that Leta Hollingworth was offered a position at Columbia Teacher's College in educational psychology which she "reluctantly" accepted according to her husband (H.L. Hollingworth, 1943). Stetter Hollingworth remained at Columbia until her death but also continued on at Bellevue and helped to establish the Classification Clinic for Adolescents, she also was the principal of the School for Exceptional Children at Columbia (Stevens and Gardner, 1982). Leta Hollingworth died an early death in 1939 of abdominal cancer.While Leta Hollingworth was doing her graduate work at Columbia University, she decided to look critically at the status of women. This decision may have been a result of her negative experiences in both failing to secure a teaching poison, as married women were expected to stay home and have children, and in being unable to obtain any funding for her Doctoral studies. She wondered if women were viewed as inferior to men because of their biology or because they were victims of a male dominated social order (Benjamin, 1975).At the time it was believed that there was greater variability among men than women (Jolly, 2007). Jolly (2007) says that Hollingworth referred to this variability hypothesis as "armchair dogma" which she characterized as the "literature of opinion", this differs from "literature of fact" in that it is simply opinions of scientific men with no research behind it (Shields, 1991). Darwin had documented the importance of variability as the principal means by which a species progresses. The fact that variability was measurable, inspired Hollingworth to devise an experiment and her position at the Clearing House for Mental Defectives provided her the chance to collect data. Dr. Hollingworth looked at 1,000 cases diagnosed at the Clearing House between 1912 and 1913. Results showed that males did exceed females 568 to 432 (Jolly, 2007). In order to further her research on the "inherently more variable male hypothesis", Dr. Hollingworth performed another experiment in which she used infants as they would not be influenced by the environmental conditions that could account for variability differences in adults. Dr. Hollingworth and Helen Montague collected data on...

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