The 13th International Congress of Psychology, Stockholm 1951
The 13th congress was held in Stockholm on July 16–21, 1951 with Professor David Katz as President. Katz had been the first to hold the chair of psychology and education at the University of Stockholm, and he was a past president of the Swedish Psychological Association. The King of Sweden, who had been crown prince in 1948 when he expressed his willingness to serve as patron, renewed his acceptance. The Secretary-General of the congress was Professor Gösta Eckman, director of the Institute of Psychology at the University of Stockholm and secretary of the Swedish Psychological Association. The inaugural meeting took place in the Building of Parliament, and so did three main evening lectures.Attendance at the 13th congress
The registration included 658 members and associates, coming from 30 countries. Twenty per cent came from Sweden, 14% from Great Britain, 10% from the USA, 8% each from Denmark and Norway, and about 6% each from Finland, France, and Germany. Members from the Northern Psychological Cooperation Committee (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden) together accounted for 40% of the total attendance. Brazil showed a greater attendance than at any previous congress with 5%. As at the previous congress, India and Pakistan (counted together) and Egypt each accounted for about 3% of the delegates. And also as at the previous congress, there were few delegates from eastern Europe and none from the USSR.Program of the congress
Three prominent psychologists gave plenary lectures on three evenings. Professor Godfrey Thompson, of Edinburgh, gave the first evening lecture, entitled “Factor analysis, its hope and dangers.” Professor Burrhus Frederick Skinner, of Harvard University, gave the second plenary lecture, entitled “The experimental analysis of behavior.” Professor Henri Piéron of Paris gave the final plenary lecture, entitled “La psychophysiologie générale de la douleur” (General psychophysiology of pain).
In addition to the lectures, there were 149 individual papers, which required parallel sessions. According to Montoro González (1982 , p, 211) the distribution of topics was rather similar to that of the previous congress: the largest number of papers concerned psychometrics (17%); next came clinical psychology (13%), sensation and perception (11%), and general psychology (11%). Langfeld (1951 , p. 662), using a somewhat different system of categorization, gave the following analysis, and added some interesting information:One hundred and sixty-one papers were presented during the six days. A breakdown into topics shows the following figures: Clinical and abnormal—39 papers; social, personality, and language—28; educational and child—19; general and theory—15; perception—14; learning—13; sensory—11; tests and measurement—10; comparative—5; applied—4; physiological—3. There were few applied papers, probably because the International Congress of Psychotechnics followed directly after this Congress. The room was generally full for papers on clinical and social psychology, while those persons presenting papers on sensory psychology were left with few listeners.
The individual papers were presented in the proceedings in the form of abstracts of about a page in length. Papers were given at the congress in English, French, and German. The assembly voted to include Spanish as one of the official languages at future congresses.Social occasions
As at other congresses, there were several social occasions. After the first plenary lecture on Monday, the city of Stockholm offered a reception in the Town Hall. On Wednesday evening, there was a boat trip to the 18th-century Drottningholm Castle where the delegates attended an 18th-century theatrical presentation. Nearly 300 delegates participated in the general dinner on Friday.Reports
Thirteenth International Congress of Psychology. (1952). Stockholm: Bröderna Lagerström.