Experimental pedagogy and experimental psychology

Edmund C. Sanford
1910 Journal of Educational Psychology  
Within the last few years a number of psychologists have busied themselves with special sorts of psychology-the psychology of memorizing, the psychology of testimony, the psychology of advertising, the psychology of religion-investigating the specific ways in which psychological principles are operative in these various fields. Such studies are not, strictly speaking, applied psychologies (as Miinsterberg has recently pointed out) though they are the natural first steps in the direction of
more » ... cation. One must study the peculiar forms under which psychological principles are found operative in any given field before he can hope to use them successfully there. In a few instances, however, genuine applied psychologies have been begun, that is, studies of psychological principles with a view to their use in the control of practical processes and the bringing about of practical ends. To the minds of some this tendency seems premature, liable to result in misdirected effort and unsound conclusions. In this fear the present writer does not share. The beginnings of applied psychology seem to him full of promise, both for the pure science and for practical ends, and not more liable to miscarry than other sorts of human endeavor. It means, for the pure science, enrichment through an increased body of workers and new facts; and, not least, so long as the science must be financed by appropriations and endowments, it furnishes an effective defense against ignorant and hostile criticism and a tangible excuse for the investment of institutional capital. No science, of course, can flourish if pursued chiefly for its appli-
doi:10.1037/h0074854 fatcat:3djdqnb2ffd3nh3jhupsfqmopa