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The Psychohistorical Process

The Psychohistorical Process: A group of scholars from the historical, psychological, psychiatric, and social science disciplines came together in a series of seminars over two summers, in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, to explore the interplay between individual psychology and historical change. There was general agreement that psychohistorical studies required multiple levels of inquiry — intrapsychic, social, cultural, political, and historical. The group also agreed on the importance of understanding the impact of social change as a central part of psychohistorical inquiry. Participants worked to develop a framework and methodology for studying and founding the new discipline of psychohistorical inquiry.

  • PROJECT DATE: 1966-1974
  • PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS: Bruce Mazlish (MIT), Robert Jay Lifton (Yale University School of Medicine), and Erik Erikson (Austen Riggs Center, Inc.)
    • “Explorations in Psychohistory: The Wellfleet Papers,” ed. Robert Jay Lifton. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974. (out of print)
  • SOURCE OF FUNDING: American Academy