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Women in Psychology Essay

Virginia Sexton Staudt 1916-1997

Sexton Staudt Virginia passed away on May 24 1997 in Ohio, Cincinnati. Even though her death became unexpectedly and abruptly, she was in poor health for over seven years. Virginia was widely recognized mainly as a psychology historian and most of the writings she left behind assisted in establishing the course for later contributions in the field and subject of psychology.

However, Virginia worked in various field of psychology and generated far fetching influence, which extended to both the international and local levels. Virginia made major contributions in fields such as the psychology of religion, humanistic psychology, international psychology, and women issues. Besides, Virginia was a renowned teacher, mentor, organizational leader, and textbooks writer (Hogan, 1988).

Kathryn Burkard and Philip Staudt were the parents of Sexton Virginia who was born on 30 Aug 1916 in the city of New York. In a family of four children, Virginia was the forth born where just two kids managed to survive the infancy stage. In the fiscal 1936, Virginia was awarded a degree in Bachelor of Science from the Hunters College where she studied classics and was later selected to join Phi Beta Kappa.

Virginia originally intended to lecture high school students on classics although very few chances were vacant to be occupied by the nineteen-year-old college graduate. During this time, the nation reached the highest peak in the economic downturn. In the end, the interest Virginia developed in human motivation along with her teaching profession preparations, especially as it was depicted in the modern and classical theatre directed her to the field of psychology (O’Connell & Russo, 1990).

Virginia was a teacher for many years and she taught in various elementary schools before completing her experimental psychology Ph.D. studies under Kubis Joseph in 1946 at Fordan University. Thereafter, Virginia joined New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University to pursue postdoctoral training in clinical psychology and neuroanatomy respectively under Zubin Joseph.

The work Virginia did together with Zubin generated the generally referred to the article called A Biometric Assessment of Schizophrenia and Somatotherapies, which was published in 1957 in the psychological bulletin. In this professional journal, Zubin and Virginia investigated the efficiency of psychosurgery and shock therapies in treating schizophrenia.

Virginia first became a college teacher in 1944 when she taught at Staten Island’s Notre Dame College. In this college, Virginia was the acting guidance counselor; she developed a major in psychology, founded a psychology laboratory, and was promoted to be the departmental head.

Virginia received a Fellowship at Ford Institution Faculty that enabled her to further her postdoctoral studies. She tendered her resignation letter in the fiscal 1952 to the administration of Notre Dame College. A year later, Virginia became an instructor at Hunter College, Bronx Campus (O’Connell & Russo, 1980).

While teaching at Lehman College, Virginia faced gender discrimination and as she was obliged to teach an extra course in psychology every term. After being elected to the departmental Budget and Personnel Committee, Virginia ensured that women did not experience such gender inequities. In the fiscal 1979, Virginia quit her job as professor emeriti at Lehman College and was instantly named the eminent psychology professor in her new job at St. John University. In 1990, Virginia retired from the University of St. John faculty.

Virginia authored nine books and over one hundred and sixty journal articles. Five books were written jointly with the help of Misiak Henryk who headed Fordham University graduate faculty for several years.

In 1954, Catholics in Psychology was their first book and after it was published, it remained a typical citation for over four decades. Church leaders particularly the Catholics had unconstructive mind-set towards psychology making the authors develop the book based on this concern. The study showed that most Catholic philosophers distrustfully examined what Wundtian psychology entailed.

In fact, psychoanalysis was faring somewhat well. Other non-Catholics theorists were also present holding identical ideologies while identifying risks that psychology presented to every religion. Misiak and Virginia disapproved the philosophers and their Catholics in psychology book assisted in changing these views. In this book, they incorporated other individuals who were long forgotten including a Catholic cleric who was a member of the APA (American Psychological Association) (Hogan, 1988).

Virginia published her best work in 1966 called An Overview of the History of Psychology. Together with Misiak, they showed a reflective degree of research, which they expected to add more materials in the psychology field and enhance other developments. The book was among the initial histories to provide a methodical treatment of profession psychology, existential and phenomenological psychology, as well as clinical psychology (O’Connell & Russo, 1990).

The authors similarly incorporated the universal psychology influences such as the Asian impacts when most of these arguments were hard to find. This book moreover expected historical judgments to change concerning various eminent psychology contributors, especially Witmer Lightner.

In 1976, Misiak and Virginia produced another work in psychology dubbed Psychology around the Globe. This piece of work helped to promote global psychology. The book contained info concerning psychology in forty nations situated in six continents and it became recognized as a basic resource for state psychologies. Just like, they did in the history of psychology book, this volume assisted in establishing principles in the field of psychology (O’Connell & Russo, 1988).

Sexton improved global psychology in various ways that surpass those that are in scripts. Virginia was dynamic in the Psychologists International Council where she managed many bureaus including being the 1981 to 1982 president. Virginia liaised with APA and ICP in the beginning of the fiscal 1983. Sexton was appointed to be in the committee of America Psychological Association on CIRP (International Relations).

She served in the APA board of directors and acted as the president of the psychologists having interests in religious issues, history of psychology, philosophical and theoretical psychology, as well as the president of the generals. In 1976, Virginia helped in bringing the psychology of religion division to be part of the APA. Sexton chaired the division called the psychology of women where she pioneered women roles (O’Connell & Russo, 1983).

Virginia developed interests in students’ welfare and acted as a mediator of the chapter at St. John University. Between 1983 and 1986, Virginia became the National Psi Chi president where she modified the staffs working conditions. She also moved the organizational headquarter to Tennessee. Margaret received various awards, honors, and suggested that a program for Doctor of Psychology should be instituted at New York State institute. This was the first institution to be approved to offer a doctoral degree in psychology.

Marie Jahoda (1907-2001)

The psychologist was born in January 1907 in the state of Vienna. She died in the year 2001 in Keymer southeast England. Marie was an exceptional researcher, an imaginative, efficient, and devoted scholar whose publication covered eight decades in three nations. She was glib in more than three foreign languages.

Moreover, she is one of the global leading psychologists. Her work started at nineteen years old when she published Koedukation in 1926 (Unger, 2001). She added extra materials to psychology for all these years until her final vocation in Lazarsfeld Felix Paul in Vienna.

The entire professional life of Marie incorporated learning vital social concerns and listening carefully to trouble oriented studies. Such problems included nationalism, inequities of social class, pornographic effects, poverty, and crime, psychological impact on unemployment, anti-Semitism, and racial discrimination. She came from a severely threatened and greatly privileged family. As a young orphan, Probts Betty, Jahoda’s mother fled to Vienna from Boherni where she wedded her husband, Karl Jahoda.

By the time Marie was born, her parents thought she was devoid of an association, but incorporated her to Australian people. Conversely, the family unit could still trace their Jewish ancestry to a forebear born in the year 1790 (Rutherford & Frances, 2011). As a girl, she concentrated on her uncle’s weekly melodic gatherings because the family fascinated arts like music.

The scholar was a lively social democrat in charge of the Austrian communist youth association. This was a time when the Austrian social democrats faced repression and some youths killed. Between 1936 and 1937, she served a jail term for her political outlook and later left at liberty under the intercession of the global community that she leaves the countryside.

However, her vocation never escaped discrimination the way she escaped the Nazi maltreatment. In 1933, the publication of her first book lacked acknowledgment since the publisher dreaded unwanted attention from the author’s Jewish names (O’Connell & Russo, 1983). Owing to the antagonism encountered by the novelist, fire destroyed most facsimile of her initial edition. This volume was a typical and extensive practical study on the emotional consequences of unemployment on development.

Marie was then fascinated by quantitative methodology study using prefigured surveillance. She worked with Charlotte and Karl who initiated the Institute of Psychology when she was perusing her doctorate degree at Vienna University. She was a divorced woman whose daughter is currently a management professor at Massachusetts Technological Institute (O’Connell & Russo, 1990). Jahoda held a long life curiosity in psychoanalysis.

She migrated to England in the year 1937 and seized several positions in the British Ministry of Information, University of Cambridge, and London University. She carried out investigation on the changeover from school to job, voluntary civilization, and unwaged miners. Moreover, she scampered a clandestine Rotes Wien radio station and became Great Britain’s chief associate of Austrian Socialists.

The researcher went to reunite with her daughter in the United States at the end of the Second World War. Here, she developed into a prominent social psychologist in the wake of 1945 to 1958 (O’Connell & Russo, 1988). To decrease chauvinism through convincing communication, Marie worked with American Jewish Committee at the University of Colombia. In addition, she worked with Christie Richard on the tendency of prejudice on the authoritarian character where they recognized the nature of personality.

She became an affiliate to the Human Relations exploration centre and a lecturer in social psychology at the University of New York. In fact, by 1951 she was a highly ranked writer and a publisher of Research Methods on Social Relations with financial support from the Psychological Study of Social Issues Society. This volume was to present schemes of transcending laboratory methods and to compete across social science punitive boundaries.

Marie was always committed in using the empirical study, remained optimistic, and self-determined throughout her life endeavoring to improve the lives of individuals. She based her studies on involvement, qualitative while paying attention to the problems encountered by individuals.

She struggled to comprehend factory existence for an adolescent employee and engaged in employment as untrained manual worker. In her brief United States stay, Marie engrossed in McCarthyism and civil human rights lobby groups that subjugated the political ambiance. Through brunt of safety measures on the civil servants ambiance notion, blacklisting in the industry of diversion, and expletive devotion, Marie looked into the psychological consequences of the political censorship.

She was a board affiliate to the Union of American Civil Liberation and a lively member in social change organizations. In the year 1953, her appointment as woman leader of Society for the Psychological Study on Social Issues was a surprise (Unger, 2001). The faction rewarded her with the 1980 Lewin Kurt Award for furthering the improvement and incorporation of psychological study and social deeds.

The 1958 Current Concepts of Positive Mental Health were her ultimate work in America. It scheduled seven helpful decisive factors for psychological physical states.

Afterward, she went back to Great Britain where she developed distinctive course for students to relate their intellectual studies with actual life problems at the University of Brunel. She natured all the interdisciplinary spotlight components of psychology after she moved to the Sussex University as a lecturer in social psychology (O’Connell & Russo, 1980). Pending to her retirement in 1972, Marie published several pieces of writing in racial discrimination and the impact of technical edification.

She surprised scholarly actions by publishing twenty-three articles, authoring two volumes, and co-editing other three volumes. These forecasted on the upcoming sense of individuality, social acquaintances, and the formation time. However, her mainly valued and final vocation in the year 1997 consisted of the translation of French proto-feminist writer into English.

Arnold Magda (1903-2002)

The scholar was born in Czechoslovakia, Moravia region in December 1903. Her parents Marie Rosa and Barta Rudolph were associates of an itinerant opera corporation. She extensively and insatiably studied and at the age of sixteen, she had no doubt about being a psychologist. However, she had no resources to do the elementary course at the University.

She realized this after reading the volume explaining the Psychopathology of Everyday Life. Her general existence betrothed in fashionable study on the neuropsychology of character through intellect cognition, inspiration, and sentiments. Through behavioral dimension, American theory, and practice, Magda illustrated the melding of European study in magnificent sensitivity experiments (Fields, 2004). She remained a bright role model and a motivation to various students.

She sat in on a lecture on psychology at the University of Charles and took secretarial work following her marriage with her husband between the year 1925 and 1927. This was subsequent to her high school studies when she was working in a bank and taking studies in commercial courses.

However, she joined her spouse Robert in Ontario, Toronto upon migration where she was operating as a secretary of overseas languages and a bookkeeper. At the Toronto University, she commenced psychological study at around 1935 September. The University considered her educational preparation unsatisfactory and required her to go through a three-year pass classes formerly.

In her second year, she relocated to honors, accomplished her bachelor degree in1939, and initiated graduate work in the autumn. She got shocked in the year 1939 when her partner left to live outside Toronto with their three daughters allowing her to visit them occasionally (Shieds & Fields, 2003). The price of her schooling was expensive and the reflection of her daughters lingered several years in her psyche.

Upon receiving her master’s degree in 1940, she was already fascinated in sensation and started a column of exploration in tension of the muscle and its performance. In the similar summer, she went for an internship in Ontario Psychiatric Hospital in Hamilton. Moreover, in her thesis she found no prop up for Cannon’s explanation of adrenaline stimulating effects on fear.

She did this when examining the effects of adrenaline injection on sound induced seizures in rats. Magda got a request to be the Director of Training and Research in the freshly instituted Psychological Services in the Canadian Veterans Affairs Departments (O’Connell & Russo, 1983). Through broad learning, she acquired new-fangled techniques and developed a system for analyzing response on Thematic Apperception Tests useful for both normal’s and neurotics.

She travelled all through Canada meeting psychologists who affianced in taking care and computing the populace that was never the preceding purpose of the psychologists.

This work came to be realized in the publication of Story Sequence Analysis volume twenty years later. She further made a key involvement in connecting her laboratory studies of inspiration and feelings with medical diagnosis and a multiracial gadget for individuality study. She was also the founder leader of the Toronto Psychology Club that in 1947 progressed to develop into Ontario Psychological Association (Scarborough & Furumoto, 1987).

In the wake of her professional development, she substituted with ailing Heidbreder Edna for a position at the college of Wellesley. Magda got an invitation from White Robert to educate on a summer course at the University of Harvard. She practiced special epiphany as she urbanized hypothetical models on character agency and views on people’s chain of command.

Arnold instigated the awareness that top academic organizations were liberal to Catholic philosophy and had modest position for Catholic researchers. In the year 1948, she led emotion researchers from European and North American on the Mooseheart Symposium on Emotions and Feelings that took place in Illinois Chicago.

They used An Excitatory Theory of Emotions that was in Magda’s article. This resulted from her Cannons hypothesis test used to formulate the emotion premise. Further, she scrutinized the relationship between the assessment of psychology and the peripheral development of the central nervous system. Magda served as the head of the department at the College of Mawr Bryn and as a professor at the start of the year 1948.

However, in 1950 she worked as a lecturer and head of psychology at Barat College in favor of her progeny who worked at the Bryn College (O’Connell & Russo, 1980). Here, she invited the entire principled Catholic psychologists in a conference she prearranged with Gasson John. The volume derived from this seminar is widely used as a textbook revealing the approach to an integral theory of personality.

She accomplished the Helen Putnam Advanced Research Fellowship honor in the Chicago University of Loyola for her advanced research in 1952. With the aim of sketching the broad hypothesis to incorporate psychological phenomena with the function of central nervous system, Magda commenced a study on brain circuits. In her volume of Personality and Emotion, she acknowledged three brain circuits.

These are the effective memory, the recall, and the imagination circuits. As luck would have it, psychologists only acknowledge the special circuit that Arnold depicted and translated in 1954. Magda found out that, perception on an object or condition comes first prior to the generation of sentiment. Similarly, evaluation of an object as awful or superior by anybody at any given moment is necessary for evoking emotions (Scarborough & Furumoto, 1987). She analyzed inspiration as a linkage connecting real action and action in predisposition.

Magda projected that the inspiration of definite action acquires endorsement from particular propensities. In fact, her vocation was stressing that the emotional understanding depends on the deed, incentive, and explicitly associated sentiments to the context. She worked on her hypothesis on brain utility tentative ordeals when she became the Director of Behavior Laboratory at Loyola in 1961. She additionally delivered a summer class on TAT in Jung Institute Switzerland (Shieds & Fields, 2003).

In the custom of the Symposium of Mooresheart, Magda established a financial support for the global meeting on emotion from the National Science Foundation. While ongoing with her professional studies at Spring Hill in 1972, Arnold instigated a project to accomplish a research on school and motivation victory and to restructure the Division of Social Science.

In conclusion, Virginia was a striking woman who often dedicated more time to faculty members and students. These groups normally sought Virginia’s advice that was an invariable encouragement source for youthful experts. Sexton helped professionals in making career choices, organizations to join, books and papers to write.

Virginia helped individuals become prominent psychologists and she conducted numerous research studies in psychology that are still being used as references. Sexton was a teacher and she produced materials that have nurtured many students to become prominent psychologists.

Marie became an illustrious scientific profession regardless of her intricacy as a female, a Jew, and an immigrant. She has a distinguished bibliography in terms of measurement and extensiveness. Many nations attest to her global importance towards initiating works on positive psychological mental fitness, psychodynamics of moral and racial discrimination, as well as psychosomatic consequences of being unemployed.

Currently, Marie sets an inspirational model in psychoanalytically developed psychology, accountability, pragmatic competency, and social anxiety that persistently touch and interest civic life. She remains a role model to the colleagues due to her spirit of tolerance, intellectual generosity, sympathy, and a courageous social activist. Mitzi commends her with immense fondness asserting that she was marvelous and had a lengthy commendable life.

Arnold Magda was a Eucharistic cleric visiting the aged and giving Holy Communion at Sunday church services. Prior to her passing away in the year 2002, Arnold directed young psychologists devoid of excuses or break in the proceedings. She highly contributed to the field of psychology making the human race aware of psychological responses.

Her projection that the inspiration of definite actions acquires endorsement from particular propensities is helpful to the present generation. She is one of the prominent psychologists whose work continues to benefit the entire world. Generally, Arnold’s work is an inspiration and a linkage connecting the real action and action in predisposition. She remains a bright role model and a motivation to various students across the world.


Fields, R. (2004). Heritage column: A life of science and spirituality: Magda B. Arnold (1903-2002). The Feminist Psychologist, 31(2), p. 11-12.

Hogan, J. (1988). Virginia Staudt Sexton (1916-1997). American Psychologists, 53(10), p.1155-1156.

O’Connell, A. & Russo, N. (1980). Eminent women in psychology: Models of achievement. Special issue of Psychology of Women Quarterly, 5(1).

O’Connell, A. & Russo, N. (1983). Models of achievement: Reflections of eminent women in psychology. New York: Columbia University Press.

O’Connell, A. & Russo, N. (1988). Models of achievement: Reflections of eminent women in psychology. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

O’Connell, A. & Russo, N. (1990). Women in psychology: A bio-bibliographic sourcebook. New York, NY: Greenwood Press.

Scarborough, E. & Furumoto, L. (1987). Untold lives: The first generation of American women psychologists. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Rutherford, A. & Frances, R. (2011). Reclaiming SPSSI’s sociological past: MarieJahoda and the immersion tradition in social psychology. Journal of Social Issues, 67(1), p. 42-58.

Shieds, S. & Fields, R. (2003). Magda B. Arnold (1903-2002). American Psychologists, 58(5), p.403-404.

Unger, R. (2001). Marie Jahoda (1907-2001). American Psychologists, 56(11), p.1040-1041.

This Essay on Women in Psychology was written and submitted by user Mckinley Cabrera to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

Mckinley Cabrera studied at Florida International University, USA, with average GPA 3.36 out of 4.0.

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Cabrera, Mckinley. "Women in Psychology." IvyPanda, 25 Nov. 2019,

1. Mckinley Cabrera. "Women in Psychology." IvyPanda (blog), November 25, 2019.


Cabrera, Mckinley. "Women in Psychology." IvyPanda (blog), November 25, 2019.


Cabrera, Mckinley. 2019. "Women in Psychology." IvyPanda (blog), November 25, 2019.


Cabrera, M. (2019) 'Women in Psychology'. IvyPanda, 25 November.

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