III International Congress of Psychology
August 20 - 25, 1900, Paris, France
[Adapted from: Rosenzweig, M., Holtzman, W., Sabourin, M. & Bélanger, D. (2000). History of the International Union of Psychological Science. Hove, UK: Psychology Press]
The 4th International Congress of Psychology, Paris 1900
The 4th International Congress of Psychology took place in the Palais des Congrès at the Paris Exposition Universelle, August 20–25, 1900. Théodule A. Ribot was President, Charles Richet was second President, and Pierre Janet was secretary. The list of registered members showed 430; this was 25 fewer registrants than at the 3rd congress. Fifty-five per cent came from outside France; this was the first time that the majority of attendees came from outside the host country. Of these, 38 (9%) came from the USA, 35 (8%) from Germany, 32 (7%) from Great Britain, 26 (6%) from Russia, and 22 (5%) from Italy.
In his presidential address, Ribot noted the impressive increase in numbers of psychological publications. The items reported in the Psychological Index increased from 2234 for 1896 to 2746 for 1899. Ribot foresaw the time when a single psychologist would no longer be able to review all the publications because, no sooner had he finished with those for one year, he would have to start again for the next.
Hermann Ebbinghaus reviewed the psychology of the 19th century. He stressed the differences of philosophical psychology among France, Germany, and England, whereas it seemed to him that scientific psychology was becoming a common international field, inspired by the unity of approach that characterizes science.
The program of the 4th congress was divided into symposia and general sessions. The six symposia were these: (1) Relations between psychology and anatomy and physiology. (2) Introspective psychology and its relations with philosophy. (3) Experimental and physiological psychology. (4) Psychopathology and psychiatry. (5) Psychology of hypnotism, suggestion, and related subjects. (6) Social and criminal psychology; this symposium also included reports on animal and comparative psychology, anthropology, and ethnography. The six general sessions were on these subjects: (1) Studies of the history of psychology. (2) Cerebral physiology. (3) Somnambulism. (4) Physiological psychology. (5) Experimental psychology. (6) Social and abnormal psychology. Of the 139 presentations at the congress, the most frequent subject was general psychology, with 21% of the total, followed by psychometrics (14%) and clinical psychology (13%) (Montoro González, 1982, p. 120).
The 4th congress closed, as had the first, with a banquet in a restaurant on the first platform of the Eiffel Tower.
IV Congrés International de Psychologie. (1901). Paris: Félix Alcan.