Margaret Floy Washburn (Encyclopedia of Psychology)
Margaret Floy Washburn was the first woman ever to receive a doctorate in psychology and the second woman to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences (1931), the most eminent scientific society in the United States. The only child of Francis Washburn and Elizabeth Floy Davis, Washburn was raised in a middle class home in New York. The women in her family were exceptional and attained high levels of academic accomplishment for the era. Educated both in public and private schools, Washburn graduated from Vassar College in 1891 with a keen interest in science and philosophy. She audited graduate courses taught by James McKeen Cattell at Columbia University, but in spite of his full support, she was denied admission to the graduate program due to gender restrictions. Admitted as a degree candidate at Cornell University, she won the Susan Lynn Sage Fellowship in Philosophy and Ethics. In two short years, working with the noted researcher Edward B. Titchener (1886-1927) in experimental psychology, Washburn earned her Ph.D., the first woman ever to receive a doctorate in psychology. In 1894, she was elected to membership in the American Psychological Association where she eventually became a council member, establishing policy and serving on many committees.
(The entire section is 594 words.)
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