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The Professionalization of Psychology in Nazi Germany


Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Psychology

  • Date Published: December 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521102131

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About the Authors
  • It has been widely believed that psychology in Germany, faced with political antipathy and mass emigration of its leading minds, withered under national Socialism. Yet in The Professionalisation of Psychology in Nazi Germany Ulfried Geuter tells a radically different story of how German psychology, rather than disappearing, rapidly grew into a fully developed profession during the Third Reich. Geuter makes it clear that the rising demands of a modern industrial nation gearing up for a war afforded psychology with a unique opportunity in Nazi Germany: to transform itself from a marginal academic discipline into a state-sanctioned profession. This opportunity was mainly presented by Wehrmacht, whose demand for psychological expertise led to increasing support for academic departments, and to the expansion and standardisation of training programmes - a process of professionalization which culminated in 1941 with the creation of a state examination for Diplom, a professional psychology degree. Although the Wehrmacht's demand for its services fell along with the fortunes of the Nazi regime, the professional base psychology has carved for itself remained for the duration of the war and to this date.

    • Highly acclaimed in its German edition
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521102131
    • length: 360 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Notes to the readers of the English edition
    Glossary of abbreviations
    1. Introduction
    2. On the way to becoming an independent discipline
    3. The potential of psychology for selecting workers and officers: diagnostics, character and expression
    4. Psychologists at work: new professional activities in industry and army and their expansion in the war economy
    5. Legitimation strategies and professional policy
    6. University courses in psychology and the development of the diploma examination regulations (DPO) of 1941
    7. The diploma examination regulations and their consequences
    8. The disbanding of Luftwaffe and army psychology in 1942 and the reorientation of psychology in war
    9. Self-deception, loyalty and solidarity: professionalization as a subjective process
    10. Science, profession and power
    Comments on sources

  • Author

    Ulfried Geuter


    Richard Holmes

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