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Hist Psychol. 2013 Nov;16(4):249-68. doi: 10.1037/a0033118. Epub 2013 Jul 1.

An exploratory digital analysis of the early years of G. Stanley Hall's American Journal of Psychology and Pedagogical Seminary.

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Department of Psychology.


In this article, we present the results of an exploratory digital analysis of the contents of the two journals founded in the late 19th century by American psychologist G. Stanley Hall. Using the methods of the increasingly popular digital humanities, some key attributes of the American Journal of Psychology (AJP) and the Pedagogical Seminary (PS) are identified. Our analysis reaffirms some of Hall's explicit aims for the two periodicals, while also revealing a number of other features of the journals, as well as of the people who published within their pages, the methodologies they employed, and the institutions at which they worked. Notably, despite Hall's intent that his psychological journal be strictly an outlet for scientific research, the journal-like its sister pedagogically focused publication-included an array of methodologically diverse research. The multiplicity of research styles that characterize the content of Hall's journals in their initial years is, in part, a consequence of individual researchers at times crossing methodological lines and producing a diverse body of research. Along with such variety within each periodical, it is evident that the line between content appropriate to one periodical rather than the other was fluid rather than absolute. The full results of this digitally informed analysis of Hall's two journals suggest a number of novel avenues for future research and demonstrate the utility of digital methods as applied to the history of psychology. (PsycINFO Database Record

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