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Previous Numbers LATH/01/01
Level Collection
Extent 2 boxes
Title Leytham, G. W. (b.1913): Papers Relating to E. C. Tolman (1886-1959)
Date 1891-1981
Box Number 1-2
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Name Tolman, E. C. (1886-1959)

Research material collected by Professor G. W. Leytham, University of Liverpool, for his proposed biography of Professor E. C. Tolman.


Arranged into series under the heading of E. C. Tolman then alphabetically by subject.

PSY/TOL/1 Tolman, E. C.: Files I, 1891-1981

PYS/TOL/2 Tolman, E.C.: Files II, 1922-1973

Historical Background Created by Professor G. W. Leytham (b.1913) University of Liverpool, biographer and former student of E. C. Tolman. The material mostly comprises papers of US behavioural psychologist E. C. Tolman (1886-1959) for Leytham's proposed biography.
Historical Background Tolman was educated at various Newton public schools. In 1908 he attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduating with a B.S. in electrochemistry in 1911. In the summer of 1911 he enrolled in two summer schools at Harvard, a philosophy course from Ralph Barton Perry, and a course in comparative psychology from Robert M. Yerkes. After taking these summer courses Tolman began at Harvard as a full graduate student in the joint department of philosophy and psychology. At the end of his first graduate year Tolman went to Germany to spend the time with Kurt Koffa who introduced him to Gestalt psychology.

Tolman received his Ph.D.from Harvard in 1915 and also married in the same year. In the autumn of 1915 Tolman and his wife moved to Evanston, Illinois, where for 3 years he taught at Northwestern University. In 1918 Tolman was offered a lectureship at Berkeley. He accepted and stayed for 41 years. During his first years at the University, Tolman established an animal laboratory and taught his widely known class "The Tolman Seminar". Soon after Tolman arrived at Berkeley his thinking, influenced by Watson's work, turned toward behaviourism. In 1922 Tolman argued for a "true nonphysiological behaviourism" writing a series of articles which attempted to show how "mentalistic" concepts such as sensation, emotion and consciousness could be translated into new objective behavioural terms. Throughout his many years in Berkeley his constructive influence was powerfully felt both within the university and within the community. He successfully led the protracted fight of the Berkeley faculty against the imposition of a loyalty oath. (Tolman was a leader of the long fight in which a group of faculty members, including himself, lost their teaching posts for refusing to sign a special loyalty oath. Tolman was chairman of the Psychology Department at his dismissal in 1950. He was reinstated three years later after the State Supreme Court held that the oath, prescribed by the Board of Regents, was illegal). Dr Tolman received many honours in his academic life culminating in the naming of a new psychological building at Berkeley "Edward Chace Tolman Hall" in 1962.

Sources. "Edward Chace Tolman", History of Psychology in Autobigraphy (C. Murchison) Vol.4, 323-339, 1952

"In Memoriam Edward Chace Tolman" 1959 unknown publisher

"In Memoriam" University of California (nd)

"In Memory of Edward Chace Tolman (1886-1959)", G. W.Leytham Bulletin of the British Psychological Society. No.49 Oct 1962, pp 21-28

Selected Bibliography:

Purposive Behaviour in Animals and Men. (New York: Century Co.) 1932

"Drives Toward War". New York: D. Appleton-Century Co., 1942, pp.xv-118

Custodial History Gift to British Psychological Society Archives Liverpool University 1992. Transfer to British Psychological Society History of Psychology Centre, Staffordshire University 1998. Transferred to John Street Archive 2002.

British Psychological Society accession number 0012.

Acquisition Details Deposited in the Wellcome Library by the British Psychological Society in September 2008.
Accession Number 1611
Access Status Open
Access Conditions The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material.
Reproduction Conditions Images are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.
Notes Compiled by the Cataloguing Project Archivist at the British Psychological Society History of Psychology Centre, with minor editing by Wellcome Library staff.
Subject Psychological schools
Subject Cognition
Subject Human behaviour
Subject Animal behaviour
Subject Education, Medical
Subject Psychology
MaterialType Archives - Non-digital
System No. 8a6dcc39-eb4a-4724-8af2-70d48ead8d46