Can comic books negatively condition children’s behavior? In the 1950s that question provoked a furore, when the psychiatrist Frederic Wertham alleged comics had serious, deleterious effects. Dennis Doyle, who teaches history at St Louis College of Pharmacy, explores the story.
Mary Augusta Brazelton explains how one of the first scandals involving ‘Communist brainwashing’ also serves as an entry point for understanding how the Chinese Communist Party used biomedical expertise to consolidate its political power at home.
We interviewed cognitive neuropsychologist Tim Shallice about the ‘Five Techniques’ of enhanced interrogation used by British agents in Northern Ireland during The Troubles, and their association with scientific research on sensory deprivation.
Dr. Albert Mason talks to Marcia Holmes about his career in medical hypnotism and psychoanalysis, and describes his experiences as scientific consultant for The Ipcress File film and testing for ESP with Arthur Koestler.
Earlier this year, Daniel Pick and Paul Preston recorded their conversation about the rediscovery of Alfonso Laurencic, a designer of highly unusual prison cells during the Spanish Civil War. Inspired by their discussion, Carl-Henrik Bjerstrom, delves into the circumstances surrounding the creation of these cells and the scandals that followed.
Maria Hadjiathanasiou explores the little-known propaganda conflict that took place between British imperial powers and insurgent nationalists in post-war Cyprus.
Hannah Proctor looks afresh at the methodologies of a key Sovietological study, The Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System, and uncovers the surprising ways that anxieties and assumptions about totalitarianism structured social scientific research.
Jacy Young discusses the troubled history of Oak Ridge Psychiatric Unit, Ontario, in the light of recent allegations of unethical treatment by psychiatric staff during the 1960s and 70s, including the use of LSD and other drug therapies.
“We are tightly wrapped in a spider net of electronic surveillance”… deliberately confused by “an incessant flow of dismembered and dislocated fragments” (Zygmunt Bauman on brainwashing, surveillance, and modern society).* In July 2015 Daniel Pick interviewed Zygmunt Bauman on the subject of brainwashing. His wide ranging responses travel from the Cold War to the virtual… Read more »
Erik Linstrum discusses his research on the complex role played by psychologists in the British Empire. How did the science of subjectivity which emerged in the twentieth century — the apparatus of mental tests, talking cures, and other techniques for measuring, exploring, and managing minds — matter to imperial rule?