Helen Bradford Thompson Woolley’s Contributions to Psychology
On November 6th, 1874 Helen Bradford Thompson was born to a middle class family in Chicago, Illinois. Her father was an inventor and a shoe manufacturer and her mother did work as a missionary. She had an older sister and a younger sister. They were supportive of their daughters in their pursuit of academic interests. Helen decided she wanted to attend college and eventually become a scientist. The older of the two sisters, Jane, went to college for a year and dropped out because she did not have the money to continue. The younger of the two, Lillian, finished college and became a teacher.
Helen decided, because of Jane’s experience, that she needed a scholarship to finish her goal of obtaining a degree. She studied hard and in 1893 became valedictorian of Englewood High School. In her address she stated that civilized man’s power is dependent on the knowledge they acquire. Helen believed that the key which held the answers for all humanities’ problems was science. She wanted to concentrate on the social problems of the time and use experimental psychology to bring about change. Helen enrolled in the University of Chicago and eventually earned a Ph.D. in psychology and neurology.
The Theoretical Perspectives of Helen Bradford Thompson
The Intelligence of Women and Men
At the turn of the century psychology emerged as a separate field of study from philosophy. Empirical psychology was established and psychology laboratories were built in the United States. During this time, men were believed to be of superior intelligence in not only quantity but also quality. Women were considered emotional, sensitive, and not as likely to have any form of scientific or rational thought. Helen came forward to debate this theory because there was no empirical data, and only biased speculations. There were "marked inconsistencies, contradictions, and lack of data behind the...