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The British Psychological Society.

I. Early years, 1901-1914 (pp. 113-119). II. Carrying on. Expanding, 1914-1928 (pp. 120-126). III. Consolidation. Self-consciousness, 1928-1941 (pp. 126-131). Appendix I (pp. 131-132). Appendix II (p. 132).

I. EARLY YEARS, 1901-1914

Once upon a time it was the accepted convention among historians that their chronicle should be divided into lengths by the reigns of kings or queens. Though this chronicle cannot follow out that neat practice, it does at least begin decently and in order in the first year of the reign of Edward VII. On 24 October 1901, ten persons met together at University College, Gower Street, London to form a psychological society on the same lines as those followed by the Physiological Society. These ten persons were: Prof. James Sully, Grote Professor of Mind and Logic at University College, by whose invitation the meeting had been summoned, Dr Sophie Bryant, Headmistress of the famous North London Collegiate School, Mr Boyce-Gibson, Lecturer on Philosophy and Psychology at Westfield College and also at Hackney College and New College, Mr F. N. Hales, a Scholar of Cambridge, Dr Robert Armstrong Jones, Senior Resident Physician at the London County Council Asylum at Claybury, Dr W. McDougall, Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, and a student under Dr Rivers, and co-operating with Prof. Sully at University College by holding a weekly class in experimental psychology, Dr F. W. Mott, (1) Pathologist at Claybury and Professor of Physiology at Charing Cross Hospital Medical School, Dr W. H. R. Rivers, Lecturer in Experimental Psychology and the Physiology of the Special Senses at Cambridge, Dr W. G. Smith, Lecturer in Psychology at King's college, London, and Mr A. F. Shand, a moral science graduate of Cambridge, interested in psychology for its own sake.

From this catalogue one can see that the ten persons who met together to found the society represent in themselves just the men and women who make up the society to-day; the psychological lecturer and laboratory worker, the educationalist, the physiologist, the psychiatrist and the private individual interested in things of the mind.

What were the stirrings of spirit which led to this meeting and what was the character of psychology at this date?

The most outstanding feature of psychology was the development of experimental and of quantitative methods. In Germany and in America psychology was already established as an independent science with laboratory courses. This country was awakening to the importance of this new development. One has to remember that the empirical method was the established mode of British philosophy, and that although psychology had grown up within philosophy it had never been rationalistic or dogmatic in character. The Association School, and particularly the mental chemistry theories of John Stuart Mill, had favoured the collection of data, their analysis and classification. It 'explained' mental phenomena by analysing them as compounded of simple elements. Later, when biology took a leading place among the sciences, a different conception of mental phenomena arose. They came to be studied as manifestations of a mental life, and theories of mental development became of paramount importance. By 1901 a biological presentation of psychology had become general. The student following psychology as part of his curriculum for a degree in philosophy was far from ignorant of the early experimental work. He would have found the results cited in the text-books of Sully and Stout or in James Ward's famous article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Sully's Human Mind was a mine of information. It was an acceptable successor to the comprehensive text-books of Alexander Bain, but was written under the influence of biological conceptions. Stout's Analytic Psychology was published in 1896. In his search for the essential characteristics of cognitional, affective and conative processes Stout followed the inductive method. It is only after a careful analysis of instances that conclusions are reached concerning the characteristics in question. In 1898 he published the Manual which became the standard class-book for generations of students. In a sense it was the complement of the earlier work. It followed the synthetic or genetic method and made use of the relevant data yielded by the laboratory studies of American and German writers and by physiological research. The prominence given to conation and conative unity shows the influence of his teacher, James Ward. Ward's article on psychology appeared in the ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica in 1886. The life of the mind is studied from the standpoint of the living subject in intercourse with his special environment. The activity of the subject, the "I" of "I know", "I feel", "I do" and the principle of subjective selection in relations with the environment is regarded as fundamental for all intellectual growth. Although Ward's psychology is closely linked with his whole philosophic outlook, his presentation of psychology has, nevertheless, a certain completeness and is, up to a point, satisfying. The force of his personality lies behind his exposition and his teaching has had a profound influence on English psychological thought.

In 1901 psychology was receiving a strong stimulus from physiology. Prof. James's books had already shown this clearly. At Cambridge, in 1897, Dr W. H. R. Rivers had been appointed University Lecturer in Experimental Psychology and the Physiology of the Special Senses. Within the physiological laboratory itself he set up what was the first laboratory for psychology in England. (2) His article on "Vision", contributed to Vol. II of Schafer's Physiology (1900), brought much new knowledge within the reach of the student, in particular it gave him a valuable review of the work of Helmholtz and Hering. Psychophysics aimed at determining measurements in the realm of the special senses where the Weber-Fechner Law had shown the importance of thresholds of sensation and of thresholds of difference between one intensity and another. Reaction-time was another direction in which quantitative results were obtainable. Ebbinghaus's experiments on memory and Kraepelin's studies of work-curves were opening up fields in which the experimental method promised to produce new data. There was a reaching after fresh knowledge, a quickening of men's desire to push further. The knowledge to be gained promised to be of practical importance. For the doctor it was important for the study of deviations from the normal acuity of the senses and for the study of abnormalities of behaviour in mental disease. The student of education saw in experiment a new instrument by which to gain insight into the problems of learning. The anthropologist welcomed a new ally in the study of native people. One of the outstanding cases in which this was demonstrated was the expedition to the Torres Straits organized by Mr Haddon in 1898. Here psychological field work was undertaken by Dr Rivers, and by two men who had worked in the laboratory with him, viz. C. S. Myers and W. McDougall. The association of these three Cambridge men counted for much in the work of the expedition, and subsequently did much to shape the development of the new society.

Such then was the stirring of spirit which led to the desire to form a psychological society whose aim should be to advance scientific psychological research and to further the co-operation of investigators in the different branches of psychology. Membership was to be limited to those who were recognized teachers in some branch of psychology or who had published work of recognized value. The subscription was fixed at half-a-guinea, and a Committee consisting of Prof. Sully, Mrs Bryant, Dr McDougall, Dr Mott and Mr Shand was elected. Mr Shand was appointed Treasurer and Secretary. The Committee was instructed to draw up rules embodying the agreed principles, and at a subsequent meeting these rules were duly passed. The Society was to be governed by a Committee of five, two of whom retired annually though eligible for re-election. The Committee elected its own Chairman and the Treasurer-Secretary was the only officer. An annual general meeting was to be held in January of each year and at least three other meetings during the year at such times as were convenient. Names of candidates for membership were to be brought before the Committee and if approved were voted upon at the next meeting of the society, one adverse vote in five being exclusive. (This rule still holds.) Honorary members might be elected from time to time. Abstracts of papers to be read were to be distributed to members one week before the meeting.

By the end of its first year, December, 1902, the Society had held six meetings, four at University College, London, one at Cambridge and one at Oxford. It had thirteen members. Following the practice of the Physiological Society, meetings were held in different Colleges on the invitation of the College, and the Chair was taken by the head of the College psychological department. By its third meeting the Society had already fallen into the routine which lasted for many years. The meeting was held in the afternoon (nearly always on Saturday). The two or more papers were 'spaced' by a tea interval, and the meeting was followed by an informal dinner. The arrangements for these dinners were in the hands of Mr Shand, one of the most beloved figures of the early days. Mr Shand possessed all the charm of the Victorian gentleman and was a perfect host. Those who were privileged to attend these early dinners look back upon them as delightful occasions. They were very informal, but the discussions which arose were of great interest and did much to promote mutual understanding and to stimulate new ideas. The women members of the society were never excluded from these dinner gatherings but for the first few years it seemed to them wiser not to attend. If to-day this point of view is difficult to understand, one must see in it a measure of the change in social relations which time has brought about. One thing is clear to the writer; had the women members attended, those early dinners would have been more formal and the discussions less spontaneous.

In January 1904 the offices of Treasurer and Secretary were separated. Mr W. G. Smith became Treasurer and Dr C. S. Myers Secretary. The first extant minute book of the Committee begins this year in his handwriting. Previous to this date the work of the Committee is represented by a note here and there on the blank side of the minute book of the Society. At Dr Myers's suggestion a booklet was issued giving the names and addresses of members, the rules of the Society and the forthcoming meetings. It seems probable from the minutes of the Committee that this was first issued in 1904. (3) It was certainly issued in 1906 and was reissued in 1909 and then annually down to 1917. The last issue was in 1919. At the annual general meeting in January 1904 the Society elected its first Honorary Member, Dr J. Hughlings-Jackson, F.R.S. In 1905 Mr Francis Galton, Prof. Hoffding, Prof. W. James, Prof. G. E. Muller, Prof. Ribot, Prof. C. Stumpf and Prof. Wundt accepted membership. To these were added Prof. J. Sully in 1910, Prof. Kulpe in 1911, and Prof. Brentano and Prof. J. Ward in 1912.

In 1906 the Society changed its name from "The Psychological Society" to "The British Psychological Society". This was not due to any sudden uprising of imperial pride, but to the fact that members had discovered another body of persons who were using the former title. To prevent confusion with this unacademic group the change in title was agreed to.

Having dealt with organization, it is time to consider the psychological work of the Society in this first period of its history. The first paper was read to the Society on Saturday, 15 February 1902, by Prof. James Sully on "The Evolution of Laughter". Looking back one is inclined to think that this inauguration was a happy one. The Society has given rise to much intellectual enjoyment and its discussions have been characterized by good humour wherein laughter has had its role. At the same meeting Dr McDougall gave a paper on "Fechner's Paradoxical Experiment" and Mr W. G. Smith one on "Pathological Changes in Immediate Memory and Association".

In these early years the Society received the support of both philosophers and physiologists. Prof. J. Ward made two contributions. In 1902 he gave a paper on "Psychophysical Parallelism" and in 1904 one on "Subconsciousness"; this latter paper discussed the theory set forth in his British Encyclopaedia article. In the summer of 1910 the Society joined with the "Aristotelian Society" and "Mind Association" for a week-end of meetings. There was a very notable symposium on "Instinct and Intelligence" in which Dr C. S. Myers, Prof. Lloyd Morgan, Mr H. W. Carr, Prof. Stout and Dr McDougall took part. The topic was a burning one. Philosophers and psychologists were alike interested. Prof. Bergson's views set forth in the recently published Evolution Creatrice had aroused much discussion. Mr H. W. Carr was able to act as his exponent. Each of the other four speakers had given his own psychological interpretation of instinctive action, so that the joint session provided a field day with big guns in action. Another important paper at the same meeting was the one on "The Nature and Development of Attention" by Prof. Dawes Hicks. Mr Bullough made the first of his contributions to the psychology of aesthetics, "The Aesthetic Appreciation of Simple Colour Combinations". The symposium papers were subsequently published in The British Journal of Psychology.

A similar joint meeting was held with the two philosophical societies in 1913. A session was devoted to the ever-recurring question "Are Intensity Differences of Sensation Quantitative?" Dr C. S. Myers, Prof. Dawes Hicks, Mr H. J. Watt and Dr W. Brown opened the discussion. Another session was taken up by the question "Can there be Anything Obscure or Implicit in a Mental State?" Prof. Stout upheld the psychologists's view of implicit apprehension.

In 1910 Dr Bernard Hart, at a meeting held in Oxford, gave a paper on "The Psychology of Freud and his School". Three years later Mr Pear gave the Society "An Analysis of some Personal Dreams, with Special Reference to Freud's Interpretation" and at the same meeting Dr W. Brown spoke on "The Psychological System of Sigmund Freud, as set forth in Chapter VII of Traumdeutung". The new doctrines were arousing increasing attention in medical circles.

From the physiologists also came support for the Society. In 1905 Prof. Gotch read a paper on "The Brain of the Chimpanzee Sally". In 1907 he contributed "A Suggested Physiological Basis for the Distinction between a Sensation and its Revived Image", and in 1910 "A Possible Factor in the Monocular Appreciation of Spatial Depth". In 1903 the Society held a meeting in the pathological laboratory at Claybury Asylum. Here Dr F. W. Mott read a paper on "Bilateral Cortical Lesion, causing Deafness and Aphasia", Dr Robert Armstrong Jones discussed "Various Types of Insanity" and Dr Bolton examined "The Function of the Frontal Lobes". Dr Mott gave the Society further contributions in 1904 and 1905. From Dr Henry Head came two outstanding communications. In 1907 he, with Dr W. H. R. Rivers, gave "Some Points of Psychological Interest Suggested by a Case of Experimental Nerve Division". This to those who heard it was a thrilling account of the now well-known experiment in which Dr Head had been himself the subject. In 1909 he read a paper "On the Grouping of Afferent Impulses in the Spinal Cord".

The Society received early sketches of the theories which have come to be regarded as characteristic of their authors. From Mr Shand it heard papers on "Types of Volition", "A Method of Tracing the Derivation of Secondary Emotions", "A Critical Examination of Ribot's Definition of Passion"--topics which were fundamental for his great book, The Foundations of Character. As early as 1905 Prof. Lloyd Morgan was discussing the "Relation of Intelligence to Instinct and to Rational Thought", relations which he brought up again in the symposium in 1910 and set out in full in his book Instinct and Experience (1912). At Cambridge, in 1904, Dr McDougall brought before the Society his views on the "Bearing of Modern Experimental Work on the Problem of the Unity of the Mind". In 1906 he discussed "The Fundamental Forms of Mental Interaction". Body and Mind was published in 1911. His book on Social Psychology appeared in the autumn of 1908, and in 1909 a paper from him on "Some Difficulties Connected with the Current Conceptions of Instinct" gave rise to much discussion. At this period Dr W. H. R. Rivers was concerned with the question of fatigue and with the psychology of the special senses from a comparative point of view, and thus the Society heard from him papers on "The Influence of Alcohol on Muscular and Mental Efficiency", on "Visual Acuity in Different Races of Man", and, with the co-operation of Prof. Dawes Hicks, a paper on "The Illusion of Horizontal and Vertical Lines with Momentary and Prolonged Exposure". Dr C. S. Myers also made contributions on the special senses. In 1904 "Theories of Consonance and Dissonance", in 1905 "The Rhythmical Sense of Primitive People", and in 1909, with Mr C. H. Nicholl, "Observations on Contrast with Smoothly Graded Disks". Prof. Carveth Read gave the Society interesting papers on "Character", 1909, on the "Psychology of Genius", 1911, and on "Wonder, Fascination and Curiosity" in 1913. To this period also belong the first discussions of correlations. In 1909 Dr W. Brown read a paper entitled "An Objective Study of Mathematical Intelligence" and in 1910 a paper on "Statistical Methods". These were basic for his book Essentials of Mental Measurement, published in 1911. In 1910 Dr C. Spearman gave to the Society his first paper. It was on "The Calculation of Correlations", the line of work which has become so closely associated with his name.

In excuse for the above lengthy review of the papers brought before the Society the writer would plead anxiety to recapture for the present and for future members of the Society a sense of the active support given to the young Society by the most outstanding of its members, whether psychologists, physiologists or philosophers.

Papers and discussions at its meetings did not cover all the Society's activities. Its Committee showed concern for psychological questions affecting the general public. In 1906 Dr McDougall brought up for discussion a List of Mental Characters for Anthropometric Investigations in Schools. This list was discussed through two meetings, and it was resolved to appoint members of the Society to co-operate with a Committee set up by the British Association for the purpose of reporting on Anthropological Investigation in the British Isles. This may perhaps be regarded as marking the first interest shown by the Society in what approximated to mental tests. (4) In 1908 the Society set up a Committee to inquire into the adequacy of the present tests for Colour Blindness. In 1913 it called the attention of its members to the inclusion of psychology as a subsection of the Physiological Section of the British Association. From 1906 to 1913 papers on psychological subjects had only been accepted under the guise of physiology.

A question which constantly occupied the attention of the Committee during this prewar period was that of publication. In 1902 Prof. Stout made a suggestion that the communications read before the Society might be published in Mind. A committee was appointed to investigate this possibility. In 1903, however, the Committee learned that there was a scheme for bringing out a psychological journal, and they therefore did not pursue further any negotiations with the "Mind Association". The British Journal of Psychology edited by Prof. James Ward, and Dr W. H. R. Rivers was first published in 1904. A suggestion that abstracts of the papers read to the Society should be published in this journal was found to be impracticable, since many of the abstracts were too technical and too brief to be intelligible in that form. The Journal, however, undertook to publish a list of all communications and to allot a certain space in each number of the Journal to the proceedings of the Society. In 1908 the Society approached the Editors with a view to establishing more formal relations between the Journal and the Society. Questions of editorial responsibility and questions of finance made negotiations difficult. In 1911 Dr C. S. Myers took the place of Prof. James Ward as co-editor with Dr Rivers. In the same year the Journal published its first Monograph Supplement and thus began what has proved a very useful series of research publications. The improving financial position of the Society made it possible to consider where the Society could not give financial assistance to the Journal. In 1913 the Committee discussed the possibility of raising the subscription to the Society from half-a-guinea to a guinea, this higher rate to include the subscription to the Journal. A post-card plebiscite of members was favourable to this proposal, and at the annual general meeting of January 1914 this new rate of subscription was adopted and the Society assumed financial responsibility for the Journal. Dr C. S. Myers became sole Editor and as Editor was appointed an ex officio member of the Committee of the Society. Thus was accomplished a union which has been an unfailing source of strength to the Society.

Another enterprise undertaken by the Society has also had weighty results. In 1905 the Committee discussed a proposal by the Treasurer to reduce the subscription from 10s. 6d. to 5s. as the expenses of the Society were small. This was in April. Then occurred one of those trivial events from which surprising consequences follow. At a dinner in that month it happened that there were two fewer diners than ordered dinners. The Society decided that these two uneaten dinners must be paid for out of the funds of the Society. This apparently caused the Treasurer to have second thoughts about surplus funds, for in November he told the Committee he did not propose to bring the question of a lower subscription before the Society. In 1906, money still being easy, the Committee made a better suggestion, viz. that money should be used to purchase psychological journals for the use of members. In July of that year [pounds sterling]5 was voted for this purpose. Eight journals were ordered. The story of their circulation to members, could it be told in full, would be a moving one.

The names and addresses of members wishing to read any particular journal were printed on a long slip pasted on the front cover. It was the duty of the bookseller to despatch the journal to the member whose name stood first on this list. It was then the duty of this member to forward it within fifteen days to the member whose name stood next. This procedure was to be followed through the list. The last reader had the duty of returning the journal to the Secretary. A perfect plan! Alas, through the frailty of human nature it was very imperfectly executed. The bookseller did his part, but after that anything might happen. There were delays and often full stops. From time to time this vexed question of the circulation of the journals was brought up by aggrieved members. Various resolutions appear in the minutes, all aiming at remedying the evil, and all, one fears, equally unsuccessful. Despite these tribulations some tutelary spirit presided over the fate of the journals. It had originally been intended that they should be sold by auction to members at the end of each year. Wiser counsels prevailed and in 1908 it was decreed that completed volumes should be "bound in stout linen" and lodged under the care of a librarian in some suitable place where they might be accessible to members. Dr W. Brown became the first Librarian and the volumes were deposited at King's College, London. In 1910 the importance of the office was recognized by making the Librarian ex officio a member of the Committee. Thus was laid the foundation for what is now one of the society's most valuable possessions, a reference library of psychological journals.

In view of later developments it is interesting to note a matter which was discussed by the Committee in 1906. The question of establishing a wider society with more popular interests was raised. It was suggested that the existing society should remain as the "research branch" of such an extended society. The discussion did not lead to any practicable scheme and nothing was laid before the annual general meeting in 1907. At that meting, however, Mr Winch, a member of the Committee, proposed that the rule which limited visitors to one per member should be amended, and that each member should be allowed to introduce three visitors in order to encourage "frequent visits from those interested in psychology, who for one reason or another were inadmissible as members of the Society". This amendment was passed unanimously. It aimed at extending interest in the Society. The extension gained, however, was unaccompanied by increase in income. In January 1914 the membership of the Society stood at 79.


In the spring of 1914 the Society held two joint meetings with the Psychiatric Section of the Royal Society of Medicine, a sign of the growing medical interest in psychology.

In July the Society again joined with the two philosophical societies for a week-end meeting. It was held at Durham and the distance from London demanded the provision of accommodation for members. This was arranged in the University Hall and thus was introduced what has become one of the most enjoyable features of week-end meetings, residence in common in a University Hall with opportunities for social intercourse and informal discussion.

During the war years the Society carried on its regular meetings four times a year. Attendances were not large, but sufficient to make meeting worth while. The Secretary's familiar ending to the minutes of the ordinary meting undergoes a change. In November 1914 in place of the words "Members subsequently dined together" this strange statement appears: "Members subsequently joined a ladies' dinner at the Grafton Hotel." About 1912 the women members and their friends had adopted the plan of holding a dinner of their own and on this occasion it was the dinner. Duplicate dinners were held in January and in March, but in May 1915 the minutes close with the chilly comment "The meeting then ended". Not until March 1918 does one find again the cheery record "Members subsequently dined together at a neighbouring restaurant". One wonders whether the meal at that date can have justified the verb. At least there will have been the sauce of good fellowship.

In January 1915, during Dr Myer's absence on war-service, Mr Cyril Burt took over the editorship of The British Journal of Psychology, and Mr Wildon Carr became Treasurer in the absence of Dr McDougall.

In 1918, towards the end of the war, the Society found itself facing serious problems. Much good material awaited publication but, owing to the greatly increased cost of printing, the charge of the Journal on the Society was heavy. If the Society was to pay its way it needed more members. As matters stood its membership roll was more likely to decrease than to increase. There was some probability that those members of the medical profession who were interested in functional nervous disorders from their war experiences would found a society of their own for the study of medical psychology and would publish a journal devoted to this subject. In industrial circles also there was a growing desire for the application of psychology to problems of work and of business efficiency. In its present form the Society could not meet the needs either of the medical profession or of the industrialists. The Committee, therefore, asked Dr Myers, who had resumed the editorship of the Journal, to draw up a report dealing with the future of the Society, to be laid before the annual general meeting in January 1919. This was done, and a special general meeting was called in February to consider this report together with the recommended changes in the rules of the Society. These changes were twofold. The professional limitation of membership to those engaged in the various branches of psychology was to be replaced by a rule opening the Society to all those interested in various branches of psychology. A new rule was to be introduced authorizing the formation of sections representative of such lines of interest. In the scheme put forward by the Committee the proposed sections were to be distinct units, membership of any one of which was independent of membership of any other. The original Society was to become a "General Section" collateral with any other--in short the Society would have become a federation of sections. In the scheme finally adopted the organic unity of the Society was preserved. Membership of the "General Section" was fundamental and membership of any other section was supplementary to this. Three such sections were formed: medical, educational, industrial. The effect of these changes on the membership was all that the Committee could have desired. For whereas at the close of 1918 the number of members was 98, at the close of 1919 it was 427. A very large proportion of these new members were members of the Medical Section, which became nearly as large as that of Education.

The changes in the rules brought with them consequent changes in the Executive Committee. This was now styled the Council and was to consist of a President, Vice-Presidents (past Presidents of less than seven years' standing), Treasurer, General Secretary, Librarian, Editor of the The British Journal of Psychology, Chairman and Secretary of each Section and six ordinary members. (5) The President was to hold office for three years and to be a Vice-President for the next six years. Two ordinary members were to retire annually but to be eligible for re-election. The subscription remained at one guinea inclusive of the Journal. Membership of the special sections required an additional fee, the amount being determined by each section. The sections were allowed associated members who paid the sectional fee only. Such associates did not receive the Journal and had no vote in any question concerning the government of the Society. The date of the annual general meeting was changed from January to December. The customary four meetings of the Society meeting as a whole were retained. Candidates for membership required the sponsorship of two members. Such nominations were brought before the Council for approval prior to being put up for election.

In December 1920, under the new rules, Dr Myers was elected as the first President. He retained his position as Editor of the Journal until 1924 when Mr F. C. Bartlett succeeded him. Dr T. W. Mitchell became Editor of the new British Journal of Medical Psychology which was published in connexion with the Medical Section. In 1922 a fourth section, Aesthetics, was formed on the initiative of Mr E. Bullough. In December 1923 this section had a membership of 58.

In the spring of 1921 the Society allowed itself to break out in a festive manner. It wished to express its appreciation of the services Mr Flugel had rendered to the Society as General Secretary from 1911 to 1920. This period covered the war years and the reconstruction and enlargement of the Society. A dinner was arranged in Mr Flugel's honour and was enjoyed as a friendly, happy gathering. Those who thanked Mr Flugel on this occasion could hardly have foreseen that the society would owe him a further debt for his future services as Librarian and later as President, but such has been the case.

From 1920 to the end of 1924 the question of premises was continually being brought up in Council. It was felt to be very desirable for the Society to have some headquarters where it could house its library and hold its meetings. The Council owed much to the hospitality of its Treasurer, Dr W. H. B. Stoddart. For five years such of its meetings as could not be pressed into a short hour prior to a general meeting were held at his rooms in Harcourt House, Cavendish Square. Who can say how much was contributed to the deliberations of this period by the handsome parrot who held a watching brief in his corner by the window.

It was learnt in 1924 that the Royal Anthropological Institute were about to purchase the lease of No. 52 Upper Bedford Place, and in December it was agreed that the British Psychological Society should rent from them some of the rooms. In order to be exempt from the payment of rates under the Scientific Societies Act of 1843, it was found to be necessary for the Society to pass a rule prohibiting the payment of any dividend or bonus or gift money to its members. This was passed in 1925. Unfortunately, however, the Royal Anthropological Institute then discovered that by the terms of its own lease it was unable to sublet any part of the house. In view of this difficulty the idea of a head-quarters was abandoned. The Society had to content itself with the loan of a small room for housing its library and the use of the Royal Anthropological Institute's lecture room for Council meetings and for occasional meetings. For this accommodation the Society agreed to pay the Royal Anthropological Institute [pounds sterling]50 per annum.

A need which had become urgent through the increase in membership and the work of the sections was secretarial assistance. Had the Society secured rooms of its own, it would have appointed a secretary who would also have had charge of the library. Under the terms agreed upon this was impossible. To meet the difficulties the Society made an arrangement with a typewriting bureau for the services of a secretary who should keep the accounts of the Society, attend Council meetings and take the minutes, issue the notices of meetings and give general assistance to the Honorary Secretary. This arrangement was made and continued unchanged until 1928. At this date attendance at Council meetings was dispensed with.

The growth of the Society had not been free from growing pains. Many members felt that although much had been gained in financial stability through the increase in membership, much had also been lost. The informal and intimate form of discussion which had characterized the early years was not possible in the larger gatherings of members who had varying interests and different levels of psychological training. Some of the older members with a background of philosophy felt that some of the papers read lacked breadth of outlook and were trivial in character, even though they purported to have some immediate practical interest. Dissatisfaction with the meetings led in some quarters to a proposal for a new psychological club with a restricted membership. As this seemed likely to be very detrimental to the well-being of the Society, Dr C. S. Myers submitted to the Council a scheme for the institution of a special elected group of members to be styled 'Fellows'. Eight original Fellows, elected on grounds of psychological eminence, were to elect fifteen others. These twenty-three would in each year elect not more than two new Fellows. The number of members in the Fellows group was never to exceed 50. It was hoped that this small group might recapture the atmosphere of the original Society by the informal discussion of technical questions and projected researches before these were presented in a more suitable form to the larger audience of the General Society or one of the special sections. This scheme was brought forward at an extraordinary general meeting in March 1925. As it met with a good deal of criticism, it was decided to postpone its further consideration for one year. It was reconsidered by the Council in 1926, who then decided not to proceed with it.

The Society had not elected any Honorary Members since 1905. In 1926 the names of eight distinguished psychologists were proposed. The President of the Society, Prof. Spearman, suggested that election to Honorary Membership should be marked by the presentation of a special diploma bearing the Society's seal. This was agreed to, and a diploma and suitable seal were designed.

An extension of the Society's influence and an increase in its membership was brought about by the establishment of branches. The first suggestion for a branch came from Scotland in the autumn of 1923. The idea also found favour with Birmingham members, and in February 1924, at an extraordinary general meeting, the Society was given power to sanction the formation of branches. Branches arrange their own meetings and manage their own local affairs, but are required to submit their rules to the Council and to present an annual report. Members of branches pay the ordinary subscription to the Treasurer of the Society, the Council granting permission to incur such expenses as may be necessary for the work of the branch. In December 1927 branches were allowed to elect associate members on the same terms as the sections. Despite the great improvement in finances, there was a moment in 1920 when the Treasurer seriously suggested to the Council that the Society should no longer continue to provide tea free of charge at the general meetings of the Society. The Council decided to "continue the practice for the present". The subject does not reappear in the minutes and a major calamity to the social life of the Society was averted.

The first report by the Treasurer to be incorporated in the minutes of the annual general meeting is for 1922. It is very brief, but showed a satisfactory balance on the current account and [pounds sterling]550 on deposit. It was not until 1925 that an analysis of the accounts was presented to the Society. The increase in the Society's resources and in its expenditure made it desirable to seek expert advice on the way in which its accounts should be kept. Up to December 1926 the audit each year had been undertaken by some reliable and painstaking member of the Society. From 1926 onwards that duty has been performed by a chartered accountant. In 1925 a life composition fee was instituted. One enterprising member availed himself of it, but no other member was tempted to follow his example. The scheme was abolished in 1932 and the financial situation adjusted with the one and only life member.

Owing to the absence on war-service of members of the psychological staff of King's College, the library was moved to University College in 1917 and remained there until 1926. The hazardous practice of circulating periodicals was continued until 1916 when it had to be given up, owing to the difficulties caused by the absence of members abroad and the increased cost of postage. In 1922 Dr Flugel was appointed Librarian and began the arduous task of overhauling the Society's collection of journals. Arrears of binding had to be made up, missing numbers sought for and purchased--a work of time and patience. In 1926 he was able to report that the library was in order and was installed in the small room at 52 Upper Bedford Place.

Rules for the use of the library were the next requirement. A committee drafted three alternative schemes. By Scheme A the borrowing of volumes was prohibited. By Scheme B borrowing for fourteen days by a personal application was allowed. By Scheme C borrowing by post was permissible for members living more than twenty miles from Charing Cross. The Council adopted Scheme A, and in view of the difficulties already experienced this seems to have been a wise decision. In 1927 the Librarian made the first of those reports which are now presented to the Society every year. He was able to report that the Society possessed 684 bound volumes and 106 in cardboard storage cases. These represented 93 separate publications, 16 sets of which were seriously incomplete.

The work of the Society for the advance of psychological knowledge was greatly aided by the improvement in its library, due to the efforts of the Librarian.

Through the support given to the proposal by the British Psychological Society, Psychology was established as an independent section of the British Association in 1921.

The Society became in 1917 one of the constituent societies of the Board of Scientific Societies and was represented on that body by Dr W. McDougall. In 1920, through Dr Myers, it was also represented on the board of management of a new journal, Discovery, which dealt with the recent advances in scientific knowledge.

Dr Myers was the Society's representative on the committee formed to consider a memorial to the late Dr W. H. R. Rivers. A fund was raised for the furtherance of the sciences to which Dr Rivers had been interested, in particularly anthropology and psychology. The President of the British Psychological Society is an ex officio member of the committee administering this fund.

University psychological societies were springing up as psychology became more widely studied. That of the University of London was affiliated to the Society in 1923 and its members, who were required to be registered students reading for a degree, were allowed to attend all meetings of the General Society and of such sections as would accept them.

Turning now to the more strictly psychological work of the Society itself during this period, one must notice in the first place the formation in 1923 of a standing committee called the Committee for Research in Education. This was formed at the instance of the Education Section and was sponsored by Mrs Susan Isaacs. It was due to her energy and ability that it did useful service for education. Two-thirds of its members were required to be members of the Society; the remaining third were co-opted and were chosen for their ability to help the committee in its work. This body received an annual grant from the funds of the Society, and from 1929 onwards had a representative on the Council. It served as a bureau of inquiry for educationalists, and every year it published a list of the psychological research work then in progress on educational problems. This committee continued in being until 1935 when it was judged that its work could be more appropriately carried on by other bodies.

The Society began a new venture for the advancement of psychological research when in 1925 it made its first grant to assist the publication of one of the British Journal of Psychology Monograph Supplements.

Many papers of the period under review were concerned with some aspect of Freudian or of analytic psychology. Thus, in March 1914, Dr McDougall discussed "The Definition of the Sexual Instinct" at the meeting held with the Psychiatry Section of the Royal Society of Medicine. At the Durham joint meeting with the two philosophical societies a session was devoted to "The Role of Repression in Forgetting". At the London meeting in 1918 a symposium was held on "Why is the Unconscious Unconscious?" Dr E. Jones, Dr W. H. R. Rivers and Dr Maurice Nicholl gave their views of the answer. In 1919, at the joint meeting, held again in London, the cognate theme of "Instinct and the Unconscious" was discussed. The contributors were Dr W. H. R. Rivers, Dr C. S. Myers, Prof. Jung, Mr Graham Wallas and Dr J. Drever.

In 1920 the Society took part, together with the two philosophical societies, in a Congress of Philosophy held at Oxford. The University philosophical club, the Societe Francaise de Philosophie and the Societe Francaise de Psychologie were also members of the Congress. There were three important psychological sessions: A paper by Dr Henry Head and Dr W. H. R. Rivers entitled "Disorders in Symbolic Thinking due to Local Lesions in the Brain" gave the Society the results of research work on war patients. The newly formulated doctrines of Behaviourism were discussed in a symposium "Is Thinking merely the Action of Language Mechanisms?" Mr F. C. Bartlett, Mrs Bartlett, Prof. Godfrey Thomson, Prof. Robinson and Prof. Watson contributed papers. Unfortunately the last-named was unable to defend his thesis in person. The aesthetic interests of psychology were represented by a symposium on "Mind and Medium in Art".

The 'new' psychology again found a place in the joint meeting held in Manchester University in 1922. The question "Is the Conception of the Unconscious of Value in Psychology?" and the problem of "The Relation between Sentiments and Complexes" were debated by two brilliant teams: Messrs Field, Aveling and Laird, and Messrs Rivers, Tansley, Pear, Hart, Shand, Myers. At this meeting a day was devoted to experimental work. Subjects as diverse as "Musical Appreciation" and "The Effect on Mental Fatigue of Rest Pauses of Varying Duration and Quality" were handled. Of more philosophic interest was Prof. Stout's acute criticism of "Mr Alexander's Theory of Sense-Perception". The presence of "Mr Alexander" supplied an added piquancy to the discussion. This was the last of the joint meetings held with the two philosophical societies, the Aristotelean Society and Mind Association. It was in some respects one of the most outstanding, but the tendency for attendance at the different sessions to be rather one-sided showed that the divergence of interest was becoming too wide for common week-end meetings to be profitable to both philosophers and psychologists.

Other contributions which dealt with the theories of Freud and Jung were a paper on "Symbolism" by Dr E. Jones in 1915, and one on "Destructiveness and Superstition" by Dr Eder in 1918. At the same time Dr W. H. R. Rivers discussed "Dreams and Primitive Culture", and in 1919 "The Freudian Conception of the Censor". In 1921 he took up the subject of "Dream Analysis". In 1924 Dr Seligman brought to the notice of the Society "The Psychology of the Unconscious in relation to Anthropology".

The contemporary interest in psycho-galvanic reactions was represented by two papers from Mr Thouless in 1924 and 1925, one from Miss H. Wells in 1924 and one from Mr R. J. Bartlett in 1926. A demonstration by Dr Prideaux in 1921 and a paper by Miss Stoneman in 1925 dealt with psycho-galvanic responses of asylum patients. The influence of the new Aesthetic Section was seen in papers given to the Society by eminent writers. In 1923 Sr Roger Fry told the society "What Artists want from Psychoanalysis". In the same year Sr Charles Walston expounded "Some Aspects of the Philosophy of Harmonism". In 1925 Mrs Ursula Roberts discussed "Intuition and Beauty" and in 1926 Prof. Alexander dealt with "The Creative Process in the Artists's Mind". The new doctrines of Gestalt psychology were brought before the Society by Prof. Spearman on two occasions, in October 1924 and in June 1926.

Papers of the experimental type were less conspicuous than in the previous period. During the first enthusiasm for psycho-analysis with its startling revelations, the results obtained by the often laborious method of experiment seemed dull and even insignificant. Nevertheless, good experimental work was done.

Some at least should be mentioned. "An Experimental Study of some Problems of Perceiving and Imaging" by Mr F. C. Bartlett, 1916. The data then brought before the Society later found a place in his book Remembering. A paper on "Practice, Fatigue, Oscillation" by Mr Flugel was expanded into a monograph publication. So also were the papers on "Fluctuations in Work Curves" read to the Society by Mr Philpott in 1921, 1922 and 1926. In 1921 Mr Boyd-Barrett gave an account of his experiments showing "The Reaction of the Will to Objective and Subjective Stimuli". The outcome of his research was embodied in his book Motive Force and Motivation Tracts. A cognate subject was dealt with in 1925 by Miss H. Wells "The Influence of the Relation between Values and Choices". This research also was published as one of the Monograph Supplements of The British Journal of Psychology.

Towards the end of the period under review there was evidence of the growing interest in the subject of mental tests. Miss McFarlane gave an account of "Tests of Practical Ability" in 1921 and in 1923 a paper on "The Use of Mental Tests in American Schools and Clinics". In 1926 Miss Collie discussed "The Upper Limit of the Growth of Intelligence".

Like the Society as a whole, the Education Section was much interested in problems of psycho-analysis. It held four meetings jointly with the Medical Section. (6) One of these was outstanding in view of the question raised by Dr Cyril Burt's book The Young Deliquent published in 1925. It was a discussion meeting in 1926 on "The Definition and Diagnosis of Moral Imbecility", Dr Burt was the opener of the debate. The Section received two visits from Madame Montessori. She spoke on "Child Psychology" and on "Intelligence Tests". Dr Ballard gave the section several important papers dealing with this latter topic. The Industrial Section concerned itself strictly with practical problems, fatigue, rest pauses, motor capacity, vocational tests. A new note was struck in 1921 by Dr Millais Culpin who discussed "Occupational Neuroses".

Between the years 1924 and 1928 the Society had the privilege of receiving communications from distinguished visitors. At a meeting in Cambridge in 1924 Prof. Koffka gave a paper on "Introspection and the Methods of Psychology", and at the same meeting Prof. Morton Prince spoke on "Meaning". In 1927, in London, Prof. Piaget communicated his study of "La Premiere Annee de l'Enfant". In the same year Prof. Michotte marked his election as an Honorary Member by a paper entitled "Experiments in Learning and Performing Skilled Movements". At a joint meeting with the Industrial Section in 1927 Dr Bingham gave a paper on "Some Individual Differences in Susceptibility to Accidents". At the annual general meeting of the same year Prof. Mary Winton Calkins stated the case for "Self-Psychology". In 1928 Dr Decroly read a paper to a joint meeting with the Educational Section on "La Globalisation dans l'Ecriture et la Lecture".

The presence of such visitors is evidence of the extension of the society's sphere of influence and of the growing recognition of its importance.


These thirteen years have seen further extension of the Society's activities. The first important evidence of this was the publication of a third journal, viz. The British Journal of Educational Psychology. The Educational Section had pressed for the publication of a larger number of educational articles in the Journal. They wished to see a set of pages in each number of the Journal assigned to educational topics. The Editor was, however, already experiencing a difficulty in finding space for the number of articles which he wished to accept. After somewhat protracted negotiations an agreement was reached in 1931 with the Training College Association for the publication of a new journal. It was to receive the support of the Association and of the Education Section of the Society. A private limited company, representative of both bodies, became the proprietors of the new journal which took the place of The Forum of Education, the journal previously supported by the Training College Association. The editor of The Forum, Prof. Valentine, became the editor of the new journal, and the subscription rate of the Education Section was raised in order that it might include the section journal, in the same way as the subscription of the Medical Section included The British Journal of Medical Psychology.

In 1931 Prof. Drever was appointed Editor for the Monograph Supplements which had been issued from time to time. Applications for grants in aid of publication had become more numerous, and it became necessary to relieve the Editor of the General Section of the Journal by the appointment of a separate editor who should adjudicate on the MSS. submitted and be responsible for all publications in the Monograph series. The usefulness of the Journal was increased by the publication of an index to the first twenty volumes. This compilation was admirably carried out in 1930 by Dr M. Drury Smith.

The British section of The International Psychological Register published in 1929, the year of the International Psychological Congress held at Yale University, was considered very unsatisfactory by the Council of the Society. At the same time the Council realized that it was not in a position to assume responsibility for the list of names of British psychologists to be included in The International Register as it had no official information about the status of its members. The matter gave rise to much discussion. The old suggestion of forming a group of Fellows was once more considered. This was not adopted, but it was agreed that the Council should recommend the compilation of a register of all its members and that such a register should show members' degrees, diplomas, academic standing, publications and membership of other learned societies. The Society endorsed this recommendation at an extraordinary general meeting in April 1930. Forms on which to record the desired information were issued to all members, and were completed by July 1931. The information asked for was supplied by 82% of the existing members and carefully filed. From 1931 onwards all new members, prior to election, were required to fill in similar forms. The Society is thus in a position to know the status of individual members and also the line of work in which they may have specialized. This information has enabled the Society to put any research worker who wishes to secure the co-operation of others in touch with those members who are in a position to give the assistance or advice desired.

The large room at 52 Upper Bedford Place, though suitable for Council meetings, did not commend itself to members as a room for general or sectional meetings. The Council, therefore, in 1930 reverted to the former practice of holding meetings in the London Colleges. The small upstairs room allotted to the Society for its library found small favour as a reading room. It became questionable whether the use made of the facilities given to the Society at 52 Upper Bedford Place justified the sum paid to the Royal Anthropological Institute as rent. The growing secretarial work needed more supervision and demanded more time than it was reasonable to expect from the Honorary Secretary. Office expenses with the Typewriting Bureau were heavy, and it seemed as if the Society would benefit in many ways by the appointment of a permanent paid secretary. It was, therefore, decided to seek premises which would make this possible. An office and two intercommunicating rooms, suitable for use as the Library and meeting room, were rented at 55 Russell Square. The Aristotelean Society, who were also seeking for a new place of meeting, agreed to make use of the larger room for their meetings, and to pay the Society for such accommodation. The rooms at 55 Russell Square served as the Society's Headquarters from 1931 to June 1941. Miss B. Addinsell was appointed Secretary and took charge of all the office work. The library was more and more used by readers, and the increasing number of calls on the Secretary both in person and by telephone showed that the Society's Headquarters were being regarded as a bureau of information on psychological questions by outsiders as well as by members.

In 1932 two new types of meeting were introduced, evening lectures on topics of general psychological interest given by some recognized authority on the topic chosen, and evening discussion meetings whereat one paper only was read, an abstract of which was available in advance. In connexion with these meetings, an attempt was made to revive the old practice of members dining together. It was arranged that a dinner should be provided at a neighbouring restaurant before the meeting. Perhaps a dinner before the meeting lacked something of the magic of a dinner after a lively discussion. Perhaps the dinner fell short of the desired standard. Perhaps what was lacking was a Mr Shand. Whatever the reason, the scheme did not meet with sufficient support to justify its continuance. The one section of the Society which up to 1939 was successful in carrying on the old practice of friendly dinners was the Industrial Section. Possibly a section supplies an essential condition by appealing to a smaller number of persons possessing a common interest.

In 1931 the Society extended its field of meetings by visiting the University of Reading, and in 1933 it visited Bethlem Royal Hospital at Eden Park, Beckenham. This was the first visit of the Society as a whole to a mental hospital since the visit to Claybury in 1903.

Another new venture was the arrangement of week-end "extended general meetings". The first took place at Leeds in 1936, lasting from Friday, 17 April to Monday, 20 April. Seven sessions were arranged and the meeting was highly successful. Members lodged at the University Hall and enjoyed the community life thus provided. This week-end meeting was in a sense the revival of the former 'joint' summer meetings. It proved so acceptable that an extended meeting has been arranged each year in the Easter vacation. In 1937 it was held at Manchester, in 1938 at St Andrew's, in 1939 at Reading. On this occasion the meeting was further extended, lasting from Thursday until Tuesday morning. This meeting set a final stamp of success on the new venture. The ambitious plan for 1940 was a long week-end visit to Louvain on the invitation of Prof. Michotte. Like other desirable plans it had to be abandoned owing to the war. In its place a very successful meeting was held at Birmingham from 4 April to 8 April. In 1941 the Extended General Meeting was held at Nottingham from 17 April to 21 April. Coming after a winter in which war conditions had made evening meetings almost an impossibility in big cities, this opportunity for meeting and discussion was greatly appreciated. The large attendance, the liveliness of the discussions and the spirit of good fellowship which characterizes these gatherings make them an out-standing feature in the year's programme. They entail hard work for the host and for the officers of the Society, but the work has been given ungrudgingly and has proved well worth while.

In 1931, a standing order of Council was passed to put the election of Honorary Members on a more formal basis. It was agreed to revise the list every three years. The new candidates were to be put forward by a committee consisting of the President, Vice-Presidents, and such past Presidents as might be members of the Council and the Chairmen of the several Sections. In 1934 this Committee pointed out that in recent years there had been a tendency to recommend only foreign psychologists. They put forward the names of eight distinguished British psychologists. In this list three names stand out, not only as distinguished psychologists but also as men to whom the Society is greatly indebted: Mr A. F. Shand, Prof. W. McDougall and Dr C. S. Myers. The first two contributed much to the success of the Society in the years before 1914 both by personal service and by the papers they read. Dr C. S. Myers worked for the Society throughout its existence. No other member served so constantly on its Committee and Council. For eight years he was Secretary, he edited the Society's Journal for thirteen years and was the pioneer President elected in 1920 after the enlargement of the Society.

In 1935 the Society approved the institution of a new office, viz. that of Deputy President. The new office gave the Society a wider range of choice in its selection of president. With the provision of a deputy it was no longer so essential to choose a president who was within easy reach of London. In one direction the Society curtailed its activities. In November 1937 it was decided to give up the Aesthetic Section owing to lack of general support.

As in the previous periods under review, the papers read before the Society and its sections covered a wide range of topics. One can, nevertheless, generalize and say that the period is characterized by the study of quantitative methods. A great impetus was given to such work by Prof. Spearman's 'two-factor' theory as developed in his books The Nature of Intelligence and the Principles of Cognition (1923) and The Abilities of Man (1927). The two factors 'g' and 's' have now gathered round them an array of other significant letters. Intelligence tests, emotional and temperamental assessments have furnished material for factorial analysis, whether this be undertaken as a search for simple traits or as a method of descriptive classification.

This direction of the interest of the Society was reflected in a new standing committee which was established in 1934, "The Committee on Human Mental Measurements". This committee was instituted for the study of a particular aspect of psychology, i.e. individual differences of a measurable kind, and worked in connexion with the International Federation of Eugenic Organizations. It issued bulletins from time to time, giving full information of the various studies in progress in the British psychological laboratories, thereby continuing on a wider scale one of the functions of the old Committee for Research in Education.

Several of the papers read before the Society were concerned with examinations, their suitability for particular purposes and the reliability of the results.

Child Psychology figured prominently not only in the Education Section but also in the meetings of the whole Society. Mrs Susan Isaacs brought before members "Recent Advances in Child Psychology", Dr Charlotte Buhler lectured on "Development and Personality in Childhood", and Miss Grace Calver dealt with "The Diagnostic and Therapeutic Value of Play". Dr Lowenfeld discussed "The World Pictures of Children" at a meeting of the Medical Section.

At the Manchester Extended General Meeting a session was devoted to "Gestalt Psychology", the opening papers being given by Mr Wolters and Prof. Spearman. The subject was also taken up in different connexions at other meetings. Perhaps the most noteworthy was "Gestalt Theory and Aesthetics", a paper given in 1937 by Mrs H. Knight.

Mental Testing was a constant theme of discussion, particularly in the Education Section. The spread of public interest in tests, whether those used in a clinic or those used for vocational guidance or selection, brought with it a certain danger. Many psychologists realized that some of those who were actually using tests for various purposes, and even devising new tests, had not had the psychological training necessary to safeguard the methods from abuse and the public from exploitation. In 1934 the "Professional Status Committee" was set up to inquire into this problem. In 1937 during the Extended General Meeting at Manchester a morning session was occupied with a discussion of the question, "What is a Qualified Psychologist and for What Work should he be Qualified?" There was a general feeling that the Society ought to protect the interests of trained psychologists, and that by requiring a high standard of professional training from everyone admitted to a certain category of membership, it would enable the public who made use of the services of such members to be ensured against inefficiency and charlatanism.

The existing register might be regarded as providing a first step towards differentiation in the qualification of members, but the Council realized that, if the Society was to accept the function of safeguarding professional interests, it would require to alter its constitution. From 1936 to the end of the period under review the "Professional Status Committee" and the Council spent much time considering this question of constitution. Their labours resulted in a draft constitution which enabled the Society to seek incorporation. The proposed constitution, while it safeguarded the rights and privileges of all existing members, enabled the Council to institute different classes of membership and thereby to establish what may be briefly described as "a professional register".

The draft of this constitution was laid before members at the Extended General Meeting held at Nottingham, April 1941, and met with their approval. On 31 May 1941, at a meeting in London, the Society formally passed a resolution authorizing the Society to transfer the property of the old Society to a Society incorporated under the Companies Act as a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital, with a Memorandum and Articles of Association.

At the outbreak of the 1939 war the Secretary's office in Russell Square had to be given up for A.R.P. use, but the business and correspondence were for a time carried on by the Secretary from her own home. The Library was sent, in November 1939, to University College, Nottingham, where through the generosity of the College authorities and of the librarian, Mr Flack, it has been cared for pending new accommodation. In 1938-39 the Society had had before it the prospect of more adequate headquarters in the new buildings being erected for the British Medical Society. In normal conditions these would have been ready in September 1940, but building had to be discontinued. As an emergency measure three small rooms in the older building were rented in June 1941.

In November 1938 the Society lost one of its Honorary Members and one who had belonged to it from its formation. This is not the place to write an appreciation of Prof. William McDougall as a psychologist. Here it must suffice to chronicle his name as one who did yeoman service in the early years of the Society's life. In October 1940 the Society lost another of its early members, Sir Henry Head. Although he had not been able to take any active share in the work of the Society for some years, Sir Henry Head retained his interest in its development and accepted Honorary Membership in 1937. In March 1941 the Society had to record the death of one to whose work it owed much, Prof. Aveling. He had acted as its Secretary from 1920 to 1926 and as its President from 1926 to 1929. His presence at meetings was always welcome both because of his shrewd contributions to the subjects under discussion and, perhaps even more, because of his personality, which had much of the charm and freshness of a boy.

Although after September 1939 the grip of a European war partially paralysed the activities of the Society, the extended general meetings already referred to show that, as in the last war, the Society 'carried on'. At the Extended General Meeting at Birmingham, 1940, a new section was formed, viz. Social Psychology. The purpose of this section is to promote research in social psychology and to foster discussion about the application of psychology to the problems of society.

The Industrial Section meeting in London has kept up its discussions and its social habits by holding short luncheon-hour meetings with coffee and sandwiches available for those notifying their intention of attending.

To the great regret of many the International Congress planned to take place in Edinburgh under the presidency of Prof. Drever has had to be abandoned for the present. One can wish for nothing better than the realization of the plan after the war, and, further, that it may be carried out in the same spirit as that which animated the Congress held in Oxford in 1923 under the presidency of Prof. Myers. There the psychologists of several nations, including the belligerents, met as psychologists resolved to overcome the barriers of war by their common interest and determined good will. Psychology has its part to play both now and later. One may hope that the newly incorporated Society as a whole, and the Social Section in particular, may be able to promote the clearer thinking and better understanding of social and international relations on which the future peace of the world depends.

On 1 October 1941 the official document of incorporation was received from the Registrar of Companies, certifying that the British Psychological Society is this day incorporated under the Companies Act of 1929 and that the Company is Limited.

The Kind is dead, long live the King!

(Manuscript received 1941)

Reprinted from the British Journal of Psychology (1947), 37, 113-132

(1) Later Sir F. Mott. In this chronicle, in referring to Members I have used the style of address familiar at the time under review. I hope this practice will not seem discourteous. Also I have ignored the military titles of the war years. If I have postdated or antedated knighthoods, professorships and doctorates, may I here and now apologize.

(2) This laboratory was moved to a separate building in St Tibb's Row in 1901. It moved again, in 1903, to a cottage in Mill Lane. In 1913 it once more became associated with physiology. Thanks to the efforts of Dr C. S. Myers, a wing was built for it in the new physiological building. Here it continues to flourish and to expand.

(3) The earliest copy in my hands gives the programme for 1907. I have not been able to discover any copy of earlier date.

(4) It is interesting to note what was happening in Paris. Binet's tests had been published in 1905. January 1906, saw the opening of the laboratory attached to the Normal School in rue Grange aux Belles, Paris. Here Prof. Binet worked further at his scales for the average bodily measurements and mental development of school children and for their scholastic attainments.

(5) In 1909 the number of ordinary members on the Committee had been raised from the original number of five to seven.

(6) For an account of the Medical Section of the British Psychological Society readers should consult the article bearing that title written by J. Rickman, M.A., M.D., in the series British Medical Societies, Medical Press and Circular (September 1938).
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Author:Edgell, Beatrice
Publication:British Journal of Psychology
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 1, 2001
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