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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A periodical for a science : Xinli and psychological knowledge in Republican China 1922-1927 Yu, Jia

Abstract

In the summer of 1921, a specialized periodical devoted to a new scientific discipline, modern psychology, was established synchronously with the founding of the Chinese Psychological Society in Nanjing. In the following six years, this serial scientific periodical, Xinli (心理), was engaged in promoting the professionalization of the psychologist community in Republican China, and constructing the earliest communications of psychological knowledge with Chinese laymen readers. This thesis underscores the historical agency of Xinli in shaping the growing field of modern psychology and in interweaving psychological knowledge with Chinese society during the early years of Republican China. By analyzing three aspects of Xinli, including its social and intellectual management, three psychologists’ elaborations on psychology testing, and one of Xinli’s columns that involved intensive participation of laymen readers, I argue that, in the case study of Xinli, the supposed gap between scientists and the public did not actually appear in the 1920s Republican China. This case study exemplifies that the professionalization of Chinese psychological scientists was mutually progressing with the popularization of the field; both took place mainly through the circulation of a scientific periodical, Xinli.

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