Category Archives: Psychology

August 10

Reality TV: The (Not So) Candid Camera

On the 10th of August 1948, Candid Camera, an American hidden camera/practical joke reality series created and produced by Allen Funt was aired on television. It initially began on radio as The Candid Microphone and after a series of theatrical film shorts, the format was adopted to the screen where it ran successfully until May 2004. A 1969 article records how, “Since its inception […]

July 26

George Grosz: War→Madness→Dada

On the 26th of July 1893, German artist George Grosz was born in Berlin. From an early age, Grosz had passionate ideological views. In January 1919, he was arrested during the Spartakus uprising in Berlin, a general strike accompanied by armed battles, which was being suppressed by the Weimar government, marking the end of the […]

July 02

Émile Coué: Autosuggestion and Self-Improvement

On the 2nd of July 1926,  French self-help guru Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie died in Nancy, France. Working as an apothecary at Troyes at the turn of the century, Coué came to know the placebo effect and used encouraging words to recommend medicines to patients, pinning small notes with positive messages to various remedies when handing […]

June 12

Harriet Martineau: Agoraphobia and Feminist Freedom

On the 12th of  June 1802, pioneering sociologist Harriet Martineau was born in Norwich, England. In 1844 she wrote one of her most underrated books, Life in the Sickroom: Essays by an Invalid, a sociological investigation of illness in Victorian England, as well as an autobiographical reflection on convalescence. Written during a five year retreat to […]

June 10

Psychic Hélène Smith and Surrealist Automatism

On the 10th of June 1929, famous late-19th century French psychic medium and artist Hélène Smith (née Catherine-Elise Müller) died in Geneva. She was considered “the Muse of Automatic Writing” by the Surrealists, who looked up to her as a conduit to surrealist knowledge. Smith outrageously claimed that she was able to communicate, amongst others, with Martians, Victor Hugo […]

June 06

Hans Prinzhorn: Curating the Art of Mental Illness

On the 6th of June 1886, German psychiatrist and art historian  Hans Prinzhorn was born in Hemer, Westphalia. After obtaining a doctorate in art history and philosophy from the University of Vienna, he decided to train in England as a singer, but ended up studying medicine and became an Army surgeon in WWI.  In 1919, he […]

April 15

Leonardo da Vinci, Freud and Psychoanalysis

On the 15th of April 1452, Leonardo da Vinci was born in Vinci (hence the name), Italy. Generally considered the quintessential Renaissance Man, his input reached fields as various as painting, sculpture, architecture, music, mathematics, engineering, invention, anatomy, geology, cartography, botany and literature. His instatiable craving for knowledge is as much as a mystery as […]