CodeBPS/GB/56
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McDougall William.JPG

NameMcDougall; William (1871-1938); Professor; FRS, HonFBPsS
TitleProfessor
ForenamesWilliam
SurnameMcDougall
Dates1871-1938
EpithetFRS, HonFBPsS
Other NamesWilliam McDougall
GenderMale
NationalityBritish
DatesAndPlacesBorn Chadderton, Lancashire, U.K. 22nd June 1871 died Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A. 28 November 1938
Lancashire 1871-1884
Weimar, Germany 1885-1886
Manchester, U.K. 1886-1890
Cambridge U.K. 1890-1898
Torres Strait, New Guinea 1898-1899
Borneo /1899
Cambridge /1899-1900
Gottingen, Germany /1900-1901
London/ 1900-1904
London & Oxford 1904/1906
Oxford 1907/1920
Cambridge Ma.USA 1920/1927
Durham North Carolina, USA 1927-1938
AddressDurham, North Carolina USA
Relationships23 May 1900, McDougall married Annie Amelia Hickmore (b 1878/9), daughter of Henry Hickmore, a government contractor; they had three sons and two daughters.
ActivityFounder member British Psychological Society 1901.

Privately educated McDougall entered Manchester University at fifteen; he graduated B.Sc., with first-class honours in general science in 1889 and obtained a scholarship to St John's College, Cambridge in May 1890. McDougall's career continued auspiciously with a first in the Cambridge natural sciences tripos (part one 1892; part two 1894). Considering a medical career, he did laboratory work under C. S. Sherrington at St Thomas's Hospital, London (1894), qualifying MB, B.Chir, and MA (Cantab.) in 1897. His research earned him a fellowship of St John's in 1897.

In 1898 McDougall won the Grainger prize at Cambridge and joined A. C. Haddon's (1855-1940) Cambridge anthropological expedition to the Torres Strait (New Guinea) with W. H. R. Rivers (1864-1922) and C. S. Myers (1873-1946) on which the first experimental psychological field studies of 'primitive' people were undertaken. Later he left the main party and spent a period with Dr Charles Hose in Borneo. With James Ward's (1843-1925) encouragement McDougall spent a period researching perception and attention under G. E. Müller (1850-1934), the eminent Göttingen-based German psychologist. He then returned to England for a post as reader in experimental psychology at University College, London under James Sully (1842-1923) and continued his research into perception.
In 1904 he became Wilde reader in mental philosophy, Oxford, holding this jointly with the University College readership, a part-time post. The Wilde readership explicitly prohibited experimental research, but McDougall ignored this condition and, with the collusion of some sympathetic colleagues, proceeded to help establish a presence for psychology at Oxford. In 1912 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society.
He spent the First World War treating shell-shock victims, and served as a Major in the Royal Army Medical Corps from 1915 to 1919. In 1920 he went as Professor of Psychology to Harvard University, succeeeding Hugo Munsterberg (1863-1916) and in 1927 he moved to Duke University as Chair of Psychology. Increasing deafness made life difficult for him in the following years and most of his summers were spent in England at his house in Wendover, Buckinghamshire.His academic honours included election as FRS and fellowship of Corpus Christi College, Oxford (both 1912), honorary DSc from Manchester University (1919), and honorary fellowship of St John's College, Cambridge (1938).
McDougall was a member of the first committee of five of the [British] Psychological Society and an original member of the Medical Section; he was also Treasurer of the Society for two separate periods 1905-1908 & 1911-1915. In addition McDougall was elected an Honorary Member of the British Psychological Society in 1934.
McDougall died at Durham, North Carolina, on 28 November 1938.

Note: In J.C.Kenna's pamphlet Dr May Smith (1879-1968) industrial psychologist, mentions that "During this time [at UCL, 1900-1901] he [McDougall] used to hold informal discussions in his laboratory and gathered there a small group of people interested in psychology. This group formed the nucleus of the British Psychological Society"

Sources: Pamphlet entitled "The British Psychological Society 1901-1961" supplement to the Bulletin of the British Psychological Society by Kenna, J.C. (1913-2004) Hon.Archivist BPS (BPS London) 1961
Graham Richards, "McDougall, William (1871-1938)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [accessed 9 Dec 2004: http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/34716].

Compiled by Mike Maskill, BPS Archivist for the History of Psychology Centre.
OtherInfoIn Kenna's pamphlet Dr May Smith (1879-1968) industrial psychologist mentions that "During this time [at UCL, 1900-1901] he used to hold informal discussions in his laboratory and gathered there a small group of people interested in psychology. This group formed the nucleus of the British Psychological Society"
PublishedWorksMcDougall made his first purely psychological contribution in three papers "A Contribution Towards an Improvement in Psychological Method" in Mind 7, 15-33, 159-78, 364-87, 1898. His first book, the brief Physiological Psychology, appeared in 1905.With the extraordinarily successful Introduction to Social Psychology (1908), which went through twenty-three editions by 1936.McDougall then increasingly devoted his energies to producing popular works on contemporary issues, often rather polemical and written from a eugenic perspective. The first, Is America Safe for Democracy? (1921, published in Britain as National Welfare and National Decay)in Body and Mind: a History and Defence of Animism, 1911.
His more substantial general textbooks, An Outline of Psychology (1923) and An Outline of Abnormal Psychology (1926), remained popular and he retained a high public profile to the end
Between 1921-1938 he published 13 books and overall published over forty full-length works
A list of McDougall's writings is published in the Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society, 3, 39-62, 1939-1941
NotesCopyright notice: All images are protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights worldwide. The images may be viewed without payment or further permission (fair dealing), on the understanding that they have been made available by the copyright holder for purposes of private research or educational use only.Any other use requires the specific written permission of the copyright holder. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material. Applications for permissions of any kind, concerning copyright or fees, should be directed to the History of Psychology Centre.
SourceSources: Pamphlet entitled "The British Psychological Society 1901-1961" supplement to the Bulletin of the British Psychological Society by Kenna, J.C. (1913-2004) Hon.Archivist BPS (BPS London) 1961
Graham Richards, "McDougall, William (1871-1938)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [accessed 9 Dec 2004: http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/34716]
ConventionsInternational Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families - ISAAR(CPF) - Ottawa 1996 ISBN ISBN 0-9696035-3-3
National Council on Archives, Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997

Show related catalogue records.

Catalogue
RefNoTitleDates
PHO/001/04/08/29Torres Straits Expedition 1898 - Photograph1898
KENNA/2/4/4Notes, Drafts and Research Material (Individuals and Societies)1960s-1970s
PHO/001/06/03/07McDougall, William - Photographs20th century
PHO/001/03/05McDougall William - Copy of Photograph20th century
PHO/001/02/351McDougall William - Photograph20th century
AUD/001/09Pear, Thomas H. - Recording1957-1978
BPSBritish Psychological Society records1891-2003
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