Archive for the 'I) The Elmsblog' Category

Building Alpha Ralpha Boulevard

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Cordwainer Smith’s novelette “Alpha Ralpha Boulevard” is a central component of his future history, marking the onset of the period he called the Rediscovery of Man. Though it has come to be regarded as a classic, the story’s title, the behavior and fate of its central characters, and its underlying autobiographical sources have all retained an air of mystery. This paper argues that in writing “Alpha Ralpha Boulevard” Smith confronted his feelings about his divorce from his first wife, stressed the value of simple human kindness in his treatment of others, and thereby dissolved a serious and years-long writer’s block.

Personal Account of a Depression Era Log Home Near Batesville, Arkansas

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

According to the editor of this article, “The following brief and informal account of the construction of, and life in, a Depression era log home erected near Batesville, (Independence County) Arkansas, in 1939 provides invaluable insights into the necessity-driven resurrection of a dying construction technique brought about by the financial conditions of those times.”

THE PERSONALITIES OF HENRY A. MURRAY

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

A central concept among Henry A. Murray’s theories is the idea of multiple components of personality—the global personality’s composition as a collection of subsystems, any one of which may become temporarily regnant. Intellectual and literary antecedents for this conceptualization can be identified, but Murray’s responsiveness to such ideas is likely to have had more personal origins. Certain aspects of his developmental history, including his relationships with significant others, his visual problems, and a rapid succession of occupational identities in his early career, appear to have sensitized him to theoretical and methodological issues neglected by theorists with dissimilar backgrounds.

Cordwainer Smith’s centenary

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

TheAtlantic.com has just published an article marking the centenary of Cordwainer Smith. I have an article upcoming in Science Fiction Studies, “Building Alpha Ralpha Boulevard,” which will be published pretty close to Linebarger’s centenary, July 11.

The Crisis of Confidence in Social Psychology

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, many social psychologists appeared to have lost not only their enthusiasm but also their sense of direction and their faith in the discipline’s future. Whether they were experiencing an identity crisis, a paradigmatic crisis, or a crisis of confidence, most seemed to be agreed that a crisis was at hand. This paper, widely cited and discussed at the time, analyzed the sources of the crisis and proposed some remedies.

Starting The Elmsblog

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Blog vs website — what’s the difference?

Social Primatology (Social Psychology and Social Relevance, Chapter 2)

Friday, March 1st, 2013

The howling monkeys of Barro Colorado Island are especially attractive to social psychologists because their natural social life is protected from the destruction that hunters have delivered to their mainland brothers and sisters. Since being made wards of the Smithsonian Institution early in the 20th Century, the BCI howlers have been protected from the whims of fortune and the attacks of human Panamanians. This chapter is partly a report of my observations of howlers in the summer of 1959, when I was part of a field research expedition headed by Professor C. Ray Carpenter of Penn State University, and partly a broad review of the research literature on the social life of howlers and other nonhuman primates up to the early 1970s.

Welcome!

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Welcome to my home page. This is my personal website, as distinguished from my official university website, which is available at this address: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/LabsProfile/Elms/PWT/. Here at starcraving. com, you’ll find a wide range of content. You’ll  be able to read or download portions of two of my previously published books, plus assorted articles and papers […]

Personality Characteristics Associated with Obedience and Defiance toward Authoritative Command

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Forty adult males, half having obeyed and half having defied authoritative commands to give high-voltage shocks to a fellow volunteer in a realistic experimental situation, were administered personality tests and questionnaires several months later. Obedient and defiant Ss showed little differentiation on the MMPI, but differed significantly on the California F Scale (p<.003). Significant attitudinal differences were displayed toward own father, experimenter, experimental confederate, sponsoring university, willingness to shoot at men in wartime, and other concepts, in patterns somewhat similar to “authoritarian personalities.” Experimental validation of personality differences previously reported in association with measures of authoritarianism was thus tentatively demonstrated. Exceptions to authoritarian patterns were noted.

The Psychologist Who Empathized with Rats: James Tiptree, Jr. as Alice B. Sheldon, PhD

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Fans and scholars have been intrigued not only by Alice Bradley Sheldon’s sustained disguise as the male writer James Tiptree, Jr., but by her earlier activities in the secret world of Army Air Force Intelligence and the CIA. Less attention has been given to her major pursuit between her careers in intelligence and sf: graduate work, teaching, and research in experimental psychology. Though her work in psychology represented the fulfillment of long-term goals, she was forced to give it up because of health problems and psychological pressures. Her subsequent fiction often displayed the influence of her psychological training and interests. Earlier life experiences may have shaped both her career in psychology and her career as a writer.

The Website of Alan C. Elms