PSYC 3120 Explorations in the History of Psychology
Is a series of study abroad courses offered by the Psychology Department at Oklahoma State University. Throughout history many cultures developed theories regarding the nature of the mind dating back to ancient civilizations. How and when did psychology establish itself as a separate science? Who were the people that contributed to the emergence of psychology as a scientific discipline? Are some of the topics to be covered.
Every year during spring break, the instructors Dr. Charles Abramson and Silvia Daggy, MSC will be offering students an amazing educational experience in a foreign country! The maximum number of students enrolled in the class is limited to no more then 15. The reduced number of students allows instructors to offer students a real learning experience while keeping the travel cost to a minimum. The purpose of this course will be to visit historical, cultural, and educational sites of significant importance in the foundation of modern psychology. The sites include where Ivan Pavlov, Wilhelm Wundt, Sigmund Freud, Socrates, and others developed their theories. Students will be able to visit universities and mental health institutions in other countries while at the same time experiencing a different cultural. Class meets once a week through out the spring semester. Before traveling students will be briefed about what to expect when traveling abroad, they will learn about the country’s political, social and cultural background and learn about those that contributed to the field of psychology.
About the instructors
Dr. Charles I. Abramson is a Regent’s Professor of Psychology at Oklahoma State University and founder of the Laboratory of Comparative Psychology and Behavioral Biology. He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology at Boston University in 1986. He joined the faculty of Oklahoma State University in 1993 and holds adjunct appoints in the Departments of Zoology and Entomology.. He has been a visiting professor, and conducted research, in a number of countries including Brazil, Greece, Italy, Japan, Russia, Turkey, Slovenia, and Venezuela. Abramson serves on the editorial board of several journals including those in Brazil, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, and Turkey, and has been recognized for his teaching and research in this country and in Brazil. For the past 10 years he has taken a variety of students to Brazil, Venezuela, Greece and Turkey as part of an NSF sponsored program to provide research experience to undergraduates. Most recently, he co-sponsored the first international workshop on honey bee plasticity held at the EurBee meeting in Ankara, Turkey. He is the author of several books including a Slovene Phrase book that has been translated into Italian and German, two animal behavior activity books that have been translated into Slovene, and a children’s book that has been translated into French.
Silvia Daggy, MSc received a BS degree in Biology from the Universidad Nacional de Asuncion in Asuncion, Paraguay. Upon graduating she worked for the Paraguayan Government as a field specialist for CITES-Paraguay (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species). She received training in the care of exotic and threatened species at the Sao Pablo Brazil Zoo, and in museum curator techniques at the National History Museum of Paraguay and at the Museum of Natural History in Sweden as a SIDA scholar (Swedish International Development Agency). Silvia was awarded a scholarship as part of the British Government’ s Technical Co-operation Training Program, completing a Masters program in Global Biodiversity at the University of Hull in England. Working with Paraguayan indigenous groups, her thesis topic served as a reference for conservation policies in Paraguay. Silvia was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to attend Oklahoma State University where she received a Masters degree in Zoology researching the population genetics of the nine banded armadillo. She then returned to Paraguay and worked as the Environmental Officer for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) directing USAID conservation efforts between Paraguay and neighboring countries. In 2005 Silvia returned to Oklahoma State University working as an academic advisor for the Psychology department.
Spring 2012 -Athens, Greece
The first travel course was offered in the spring 2012. A group of 13 students a long with the instructors visited Athens, Greece. Prior to flying into Athens we held several class sessions. These sessions were devoted to the Greek contributions to psychology, general history, and the “ins and outs” of international travel. For many of the 13 students, this was their first international experience. During the seven day trip the students visited many of the sites of importance to psychology and western civilization. These include the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, The Propylaia, The Theatre of Dionysos, The Odeum of Herodes Atticus, The Roman and Greek Agoras, The Library of Hadrian, and The Tower of the Wind (Horologion). Of special interest were the visits to Aristotle’s “Lyceum” which rivaled for a short time the Academy of Plato, the prison where Socrates was held, the Olympic Stadium which was the site of the first modern Olympics, and Constitution Square (Syntagma) where we saw the changing of the guards.
In addition to Athens, we spent time visiting ancient Corinth located about three hours from Athens. In Hellenistic times Corinth was a populous city and commercial center. A highlight of our visit to Corinth was the “Diolkos.” The Diolkos was a paved road where ships were dragged between the Saronic and Corinthian Gulf. This road was replaced by a rather impressive canal built by the French linking the Aegean and Ionian seas. Another site was Mycenae located near Corinth. Although we spent only a short time there, it was thrilling to see the home of Agamemnon. We also spent time at an ancient monastery, also located near Corinth.
Seeing the sites associated with psychology and western civilization was exciting for all of us. Equally exciting was the opportunity to interact with the Greeks, try exotic food, and shop. The Greeks we met were all friendly and the food excellent. Some of the students even tried Greek dancing. Although the dollar is not worth much anymore, students were able to find bargains including rugs and various souvenirs.
Spring break 2013 – Austria and Czech Republic