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Calkins, Mary Whiton (1863–1930)

  1. P. E. Lichtenstein

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0153

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Lichtenstein, P. E. 2010. Calkins, Mary Whiton (1863–1930). Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Mary W. Calkins attended Smith College where she studied classics and philosophy. After graduating in 1884, she worked with William James. When Hugo Munsterberg came to Harvard, Calkins worked for three years in his laboratory. Despite the fact that Calkins successfully defended her dissertation to a distinguished committee including William James, Hugo Munsterberg, and Josiah Royce, because of her gender the university records show that the successful examination was noted but that the PhD was never awarded. She later rejected the offer of a PhD from Radcliffe. At Wellesley College, where she taught, she established a psychological laboratory that she directed for 10 years. During this period she invented the method of paired associates for the study of memory.