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Harry Levi Hollingworth was one of the pioneers in the field known today as industrial-organizational psychology. He was the author of more than twenty books and a hundred scientific and theoretical articles. His honors were many, including serving as President of the American Psychological Association in 1927. In 1940, at the age of 60 and partly initiated by the sudden death of his wife, Hollingworth took stock of his life in an autobiography that focused on his origins and development in rural Nebraska and his subsequent career as a psychologist at Columbia University. For the first time, this autobiography is now available.
In 1911, an early research study funded by the Coca-Cola Company propelled Hollingworth to fame and eventually considerable wealth as an applied researcher in the field of business psychology. Coca-Cola was sued by the federal government under the recent Pure Food and Drugs Act for marketing a beverage with a deleterious ingredient, namely caffeine, and the company needed research on humans to counter the government's claims. The story of this research and the trials that eventually led to the United States Supreme Court are part of the fascinating career described in this book.
Hollingworth's success in applying the science of psychology to the problems of the business world opened many doors for other psychologists, including many who worked full-time in business and industrial settings. This book provides an intimate account of the life and career of a very successful applied researcher who claims in this autobiography that the applied problems he virtually devoted his entire life were never of interest to him and that he did the work only for the money. The paradox of this claim offers considerable insight into the prejudices faced by applied scientists and how Hollingworth tried to separate himself from his own accomplishments.
University of Akron Press
History of Psychology, Advertising
Advertising and Promotion Management | Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Hollingworth, Harry; Benjamin, Ludy T.; and Royer-Barton, Lizette, "The Applied Psychology of Harry Hollingworth: Roots in the Great Plains, Volume 1" (2012). The University of Akron Press Publications. 170.