The 14th International Congress of Psychology took place on June 7–12, 1954, in two main venues: the Université de Montréal and McGill University. The 14th congress was the first to be organized under the responsibility of the new IUSP.A total of 1020 persons registered (876 members and 144 associate members and students). Out of the 1020 participants, 54% were from the USA, while 33% were from Canada, for a total of 87%; the remaining 13% came from 31 countries (Proceedings of the XIVth International Congress of Psychology, 1955). Despite the weak representation from outside North America, it is interesting to note that a delegation of five eminent Soviet psychologists, A. Leontiev, E.N. Sokolov, E.A. Asratyan, B.M. Teplov, and A.B. Zaporozhets, attended.
Travel grants were awarded to 59 persons from 19 countries, for a total of US$18,370. Several summer appointments and lectureships in the United States and Canada were arranged to provide small stipends to overseas psychologists, which stipends were often matched by the universities or governments of the appointees.
At the opening session at the Université de Montréal, the welcoming addresses were given by the Hon. Brooke Claxton representing the Government of Canada, the Hon. Daniel Johnson for the Government of Quebec, and Léon Lortie representing the Mayor of Montréal. Other speakers were: F. Cyril James, Principal of McGill University, Georges Deniger, Vice-Rector of the Université de Montréal, O. Herbert Mowrer, representing the American Psychological Association (APA), and Noël Mailloux for the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA).Scientific program
A new program structure, which departed from that used previously, was introduced by the Scientific Program Committee. There was no general call for papers; only suggestions for session topics were solicited. To avoid the problems encountered in previous congresses, where the number of papers presented was often deemed excessive and to ensure the best possible scientific quality, the number of oral presentations was limited (Montoro González, 1982 , p.216). For the sake of unity and coherence, only invited papers were presented during the congress. Two criteria were used in the selection of invited papers: on the one hand, the committee relied on the suggestion of IUSP members and, on the other hand, made their own choices based on their knowledge of the specialized areas and the quality of the work of different colleagues, as well as their ability to make a significant contribution to the thematic sessions that had been identified. There were actually two types of sessions where oral presentations could be made: the general sessions and the symposia. The general sessions were limited to keynote addresses by five eminent scholars:
The symposia were designed to be accompanied by active discussions and the themes were chosen to be representative of the current fields of interest in psychology. As noted by Montoro González (1982 , p. 217), many of the symposia titles contained adjectives such as “present,” “recent,” “new,” to clearly indicate this desire to reflect current interests. Finally, the program included some special sessions, a commercial exhibition, and the projection of specialized films mostly concerned with methodological issues in psychology.
In their content analysis of the material presented based on Montoro González (1982) , Montoro González, Tortosa, and Carpintero (1992) note that the following domains of psychology were best represented: psychometry, sensation and perception, as well as general psychology. But the fields of learning and social psychology were also among the major areas under discussion; they note that learning was especially popular with Soviet and American colleagues. Moderately popular in the program were physiological psychology and animal psychology, the latter in relation to the numerous studies on learning.
The two Montréal universities seized this occasion to honor renowned psychologists who were major figures of the 14th congress, by awarding doctorates “honoris causa.” Such degrees were awarded to Herbert S. Langfeld, Albert Michotte, and Henri Piéron by the Université de Montréal, and to Edward Bott, Jean Piaget, and Edward Tolman by McGill University.
The last event associated with the 14th congress was the special UNESCO symposium held on Saturday morning, June 13, 1954, on “The evaluation of international action programs.”