G. STANLEY HALL, A MAN OF MANY WORDS: The Role of Reading, Speaking, and Writing in His Psychological Work

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Abstract

The place of G. Stanley Hall within the history of psychology is both assured and problematic. While he is credited with significant contributions, those contributions are predominantly institutional rather than intellectual or scientific in nature. Further compounding the issue is the fact that those who focus on the development of psychology qua science have emphasized psychology's increasing reliance on empirical observations, its use of quantitative measures, and its subordination of language to objective referents. This has obscured the significance of Hall's work, including his massive, two-volume Adolescence (1904), which is typically criticized for falling short in these regards. A more accurate appreciation can be gained through understanding his intentions and the practices of reading, speaking, and writing that were associated with them.

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