Grant: "MInd Control in french-speaking Europe (MICE): The Scientific and Cultural Reception of Behaviour Therapy in France, Switzerland and Belgium (1960-1990)"


Rémy Amouroux (Recipient), Wolf Feuerhahn (Recipient), Sonu Shamdasani (Recipient), Alexandra Rutherford (Recipient), Vincent Barras (Recipient) & Jeremy Burman (Recipient)

Subside no 10001C_179201 / 1 <br>CHF 596'568 (approx 500.000 Euro) <br><br>
The future of the History of Psychology is digital (Green, 2016). For psychologists, this is a welcome relief: the digital turn brings quantitative tools to the study of history. For historians, however, it also brings added complexity: how does one do a quantitative history without falling prey to the “trust in numbers” problem? (see e.g., Pettit, 2016).The purpose of this part of the project is therefore to contribute to that developing discourse, while at the same time using the new tools to serve and augment more traditional historiographical interests (e.g., qualitative study, oral history interviews, etc.).<br><br>In an article published in Child Development, a Canadian team—composed of historians of psychology and developmental psychologists—introduced a new method for quantitatively determining the meaning of psychological terms (Burman, Green, & Shanker, 2015). This is powerful for a number of reasons: everything it is possible to say about a psychological topic can be laid out visually, with different meanings grouped automatically according to their similarity. Perspectives can then be made clear, with potential conflicts accommodated in advance. Collaboration in the mapped domain is therefore also made much easier. The results are a literal roadmap of science. <br><br>This article was one among several from the same team (Green, Feinerer, & Burman, 2013, 2014, 2015a, 2015b). Burman has also since continued to develop these methods, and has begun teaching them to his students in his new position at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. This is also producing new publications (Burman, accepted with minor revisions-a, accepted with minor revisions-b). In the process, however, he has also developed the means to examine how psychological scientists use meanings in their scientific activities: what they actually say, and not just what it’s possible to say. In other words, he has developed a way to compare two meaning-sets directly. And that’s what we seek to do too, but with a twist: rather than comparing what a concept means with how psychological scientists talk about that concept in their research, we aim to compare what a single term—Behaviour Therapy—means according to two national psychologies (the USA and France).<br><br>Burman has agreed to join our project as a collaborator; the two projects align nicely. As a result, we will have access to his methods for defining the meaning of “behaviour therapy” in quantitative terms. Yet our project also goes beyond the original in an important way: it is directed toward comparing the discourses in American psychology and French psychology. This is then conveniently consistent with Burman’s other historical work comparing French sources and their American reception (see esp. Burman, 2013, 2015, 2016). And so Burman will therefore be assisted by our team in extending both his research and his methods still further.
Awarded date28-Mar-2018
Degree of recognitionNational
Granting OrganisationsSwiss National Science Foundation (SNF)

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Related Publications
  1. What is history of psychology?: Network analysis of Journal Citation Reports, 2009-2015

    Burman, J. T. Jan-2018 In : SAGE Open. 8, 1, 17 p., 2158244018763005

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. On the meanings of self-regulation: Digital humanities in service of conceptual clarity

    Burman, J. T., Green, C. D. & Shanker, S. 31-Jul-2015 In : Child Development. 86, 5, p. 1507-1521 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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