• Schultz, D.P., & Schultz, S.E. (2011). A History of Modern Psychology, (Ed. 10th). Wadsworth Publishing: Belmont, CA.  ISBN-13: 978-1133316244

Background Information:

Historians of the history of psychology gather documents, artifacts, books, journals, writings, videos/film footage, pictures and interviews of contributors to the psychological discipline. However, much of what these historians gather is often fragmented or incomplete. Too, the information gathered may give a skewed view of the founder or theorist because people often tend to self-inflate the historical record. Therefore, the history of psychology is often an inaccurate perspective of the theorist and his or her contributions to the psychological discipline.

For this assignment, you are going to act as an historian of your own personal history, in much the same way as a historian of psychology would reconstruct the historical record (Chapter 1). Therefore, you are going to engage in this process to reconstruct, from documents and/or records, your own personal historical account. Hopefully, this will be a growth experience for you and also, that you will learn about the difficulty that ensues, when examining artifacts, in an effort to create an accurate historical account of you!

Before the Assignment:

  1. Read Chapter 1 from your textbook.
  2. You will review and examine 3 types of personal documents and/or records that reflect your personal history (i.e., personal documents/records include, but are not limited to, books, letters, emails, journals, writings, photos, videos, family trees, and financial records).
  3. Interview a family member or friend and ask him or her to recount your personal history.


  1. Your paper will include 6 different components, which are outlined below. Though you are writing a 6 part paper, be sure that your paper is written as one cohesive essay. The purpose of this assignment is for students to understand how historical accounts of psychological theorists are created, rather than for your professor to know more about who you are as a person. In other words, this historical account of yourself is meant to help students understand the process of creating a historical picture of a psychological theorist and the difficulties of creating an accurate and iron clad historical representation.
  2. Include the following in your paper:
    1. In two to three paragraphs, describe your personal history from the review and examination of your 3 personal documents.Be systematic when looking at the documents and records about “you,” and focus your historical reconstruction not from memory, but rather reconstruct your personal history directly from the documents/records you are reviewing ,you are taking an objective view of your historical records versus a subjective view. (Important: Be sure to outline in your writing, each of the three types of documents you examined, these must be clear and cited). This section must be written in the 3rd person; see rubric.).
    2. In one or two paragraphs, describe the your personal historical account from the interview you had with your family member or friend. The purpose of this interview is to understand who someone would say you were outside of your personal view of yourself. This section must be written in the 3rd person.
    3. Next , in another paragraph or two, describe how your personal historical account of yourself and your family members or friends historical account of you are both similar and different. These next sections  can be written in the first person.
    4. Continue in another paragraph, by discussing how the personal history you and your family member/friend described, is incomplete or missing important information relevant to you. Briefly, discuss whether the historical account was inflated or skewed.
    5. Explain in one paragraph, the “lens” by which you view the world (worldview or paradigm), and explain how your worldview has shaped your own personal history. A few components of worldview are as follows: society, culture, political/government, economic, education and/or religious context.
    6. Finally, explain in a paragraph how this process of retelling your own personal history from an objective viewpoint, has illuminated your understanding of how historiography (Chapter 1), shapes our knowledge and understanding of psychology’s historical past.

Additional Instructions:

  • Assignment should be approximately 750 – 1000words (3-4 pages) long and follow APA formatting style.
  • Times New Roman Font, 1 inch margins, double-spaced.
  • Remember, you must describe the three personal documents you are using in your paper.
  • Make sure to include 5 sources in your paper; your textbook (Chapter 1) and your three personal documents and the person you interviewed. In other words, all of your sources must be cited in your paper.
  • Include a title and reference page with any sources cited in your paper.

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