Who is James Rowland Angell?

Who is James Rowland Angell?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

James Rowland Angell (May 8, 1869 – March 4, 1949) was an American psychologist and educator.

He served as President of Yale University from 1921 to 1937. His father, James Burrill Angell (1829-1916), was also President of the University of Vermont between 1866-1871 and the University of Michigan from 1871-1989.

Angell made the functional movement a functioning school. In this process, Chicago made the psychology department the most effective and most important training area for functional psychologists.

Related topic: Angell and functionalism, functional psychology

Angell was born in Vermont to an academic family. His grandfather was the president of Brown University. His father had been president of Vermont and later of the University of Michigan.

Angell did his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, where he studied under Dewey. He then studied for a year at Harvard under James’s supervision, earning his master’s degree in 1892.

After learning that Wundt could not accept another student that year, he continued his postgraduate studies at the University of Halle in Germany, but unfortunately did not receive his doctorate.

His dissertation was accepted on condition that it was revised (with better German) but he had to remain unpaid at Halle to handle this task. Eager to get married, this young man chose to accept a post at the University of Minnesota, which gave at least something, even if it was a very low wage.

Although he never received his doctorate degree, he helped many other students to obtain their doctorate, and he was honored by the university by giving honorary doctorate titles 23 times during his career.

After a year in Minnesota, Angell went to Chicago, where he would stay for 25 years. He continued the family tradition, becoming president of Yale University, where he helped develop the Institute of Human Relations. In 1906 he was elected the fifteenth president of the American Psychological Association. After retiring from academic life, he served as a National Broadcasting Company officer.

James Rowland Angell
Short Biography of James Rowland Angell

Angell was born on May 8, 1869, in Burlington, Vermont. He was born into one of the families with the most important academic careers in American history.

His father was the president of the University of Vermont. He had an older brother and an older sister. When Angell was two years old, his family moved to Ann Arbor, so his father became president of the University of Michigan. Her mother’s father, Alexis Caswell, was a professor of Mathematics and Astronomy and was the president of Brown University. He was also a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His brother, Alexis Caswell Angell, was a professor of law in Michigan and later worked as a federal judge. Her sister’s husband, Andrew C. McLaughlin, was head of the University of Michigan’s history department. His cousin, Frank Angell, was also an academic who founded the psychology labs at Cornell and Stanford Universities.

With such a bright family, Angell graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in 1890. He worked with John Dewey and received a master’s degree under his supervision in 1891. He was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Omicron chapter) in Michigan. He then went to Harvard University, where he earned a second master’s degree in 1892. He received his doctorate in philosophy in Berlin and Halle. He received 23 honorary doctorate degrees during his lifetime.

Angell was recommended for a position at the University of Chicago in 1895 by John Dewey, whom he had met from Michigan the year before. During this period, he became involved in the functionalism debate between Cornell psychologist Edward Bradford Titchener and Princeton psychologist James Mark Baldwin, simultaneously with his Chicago colleague Addison W. Moore, and wrote the article that laid the foundations of the School of Functionalism.

Angell stated that the purpose of psychology is to study how the mind and organism adapt to the environment, and functionalism is a method of showing how consciousness improves the organism’s relationship with the environment.

In 1905 Angell became head of the newly created psychology department in Chicago. During this time he served as the 15th and youngest president of the American Psychological Association. He also encountered Watson, who later founded the school of behavioral psychology.

In 1908, Angell was promoted to Dean in Chicago, leaving the psychology department to his former student, Harvey Carr. During the final year of World War I, Angell worked for the military under the supervision of psychologist Walter Dill Scott at Northwestern University. The following year (1918), he returned to Chicago to serve as vice-chancellor. He headed the Carnegie Corporation of New York in 1920.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Courses