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The Society for Psychology and the Arts (APA Division 10) is committed to interdisciplinary scholarship, both theoretical and empirical, encompassing the visual, literary, and performing arts. Broadly conceived, we study three interrelated topics: creativity (including developmental, motivational, affective, and cognitive processes), the arts (including aesthetic content, form, and function) and audience response to the arts (including preferences and judgments). Other foci include the use of the arts as diagnostic and therapeutic tools, and creativity in the sciences. To this end, we apply personality, clinical, cognitive, perceptual, physiological, and cultural psychologies to diverse artists, styles, and epochs.

Why Psychology and the Arts?

Many members in APA also have a special interest in creativity in all fields, ranging from art to music to literature to science and even creativity in everyday life. We deal with questions such as how creators form ideas for artistic or musical compositions, how audiences respond to dance or to drama, and how performers express their creativity through instrumental or vocal music. We believe these kinds of questions are among the most exciting addressed in psychology, and yet they are also among the most widely neglected. Almost everyone goes to art museums or concerts at some point, for example, but how many of them understand why a certain artistic composition or piece of music moves them whereas another leaves them cold.

Our division is a small one, which creates special opportunities for members to make a difference to the division. Many members are actively involved in the division, either on committees or through presentations at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. All members are encouraged to attend our annual business meeting at the APA convention.

History of Division 10

In a recent commentary in the APA Monitor, Dr. Raymond Fowler, the APA Executive Director, noted that "Throughout APA's history, psychologists have been interested and involved in the arts.... APA's Division 10 (Psychology and the Arts) was one of the 19 charter Divisions established by APA in 1945. It now has more than 500 members who are interested in promoting research in psychology and the arts on topics including cognition, creativity, motivation, personality, and the relationship between pathology and the arts."

Gerald C. Cupchik, Rudolf Arnheim, and Colin Martindale recently published A History of Division 10 Through the Eyes of Past Presidents, which appeared in D. Dewsbury (1996) (Ed.), Unification Through Division: Histories of the Divisions of the American Psychological Association, Volume 4, pp. 9-34. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. This chapter chronicles the division's early years, developing newsletters, as well as successful and failed attempts to change the division's name. Even the origin of our first name, Division on Esthetics, had a surprising twist. And so if you read this chapter it will provide a sense for how far we have come and just how much we have preserved.

Click here to read the DIVISION 10 BYLAWS

Past Presidents

The presidents of the division represent the rich and diverse history of Division 10. They include:

Paul Farnsworth 1945-49   Lawrence Marks 1988-89
Norman Meier 1949-50   Nathan Kogan 1989-90
Paul Farnsworth 1950-51   Margery Franklin 1990-91
Kate Mueller 1951-52   Howard Gruber 1991-92
Herbert Langfeld 1952-53   John Kennedy 1992-93
R. M. Ogden 1953-54   Robert Albert 1993-94
Carroll Pratt 1954-55   Martin Lindauer 1994-95
Melvin Rigg 1955-56   Ellen Winner 1995-96
J. P. Guilford 1956-57   Gerald Cupchik 1996-97
Rudolf Arnheim 1957-58   Mark Runco 1997-98
James Gibson 1958-59   Louis Sass 1998-99
Leonard Carmichael 1959-60   Robert Sternberg 1999-00
Abraham Maslow 1960-61   Sandra Russ 2000-01
Joseph Shoben, Jr. 1961-62   Frank Farley 2001-02
Robert Macleod 1962-63   Jerome Singer 2002-03
Carroll Pratt 1963-64   Diana Deutsch 2003-04
Harry Helson 1964-65   Paul Locher 2004-05
Rudolf Arnheim 1965-66   Gregory Feist 2005-06
Irving Child 1966-67   Lauren Seifert 2006-07
Robert Knapp 1967-68   Jonathan Plucker 2007-08
Sigmund Koch 1968-69   Jeffrey K. Smith 2008-10
Marianne Simmel 1969-70      
Rudolf Arnheim 1970-71      
Frank Barron 1971-72      
Michael Wallach 1972-73      
Frederick Wyatt 1973-74      
Daniel Berlyne 1974-75      
Julian Hochberg 1975-76      
Edward Walker 1976-77      
Joachim Wohlwill 1977-78      
Pavel Machotka 1978-79      
Ravenna Helson 1979-80      
Nathan Kogan 1980-81      
Salvatore Maddi 1981-82      
Stephanie Dudek 1982-83      
Brian Sutton-Smith 1983-84      
Henry Gleitman 1984-85      
Dean Simonton 1985-86      
Colin Martindale 1986-87      
Kenneth Gergen 1987-88      

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