It’s just this sort of incident that inspired this blog. After a successful conference presentation I was annoyed to learn that in pronouncing ‘Gesell’ like it looks I’d made myself look ignorant. In fact, the name of developmental psychologist Arnold Gesell, properly pronounced, sounds very like ‘gazelle’. After this I started keeping notes on all the counterintuitive names I encountered and asking my friends for their contributions.
I have also expanded it to include a section on myths in the history of psychology, a sort of “Snopes of Psychology”. The rationale is the same: this is yet another area where it’s tricky to catch one’s mistakes without quite a bit of background knowledge, since there’s no way to know that an older article in a reputable journal has been debunked or superseded. Since I wrote my master’s thesis on a famous myth in psychology, I’ve thought a bit about this kind of myth-making in psychology.
I hope that students of psychology will find these resources helpful and will contribute new items. I welcome corrections or new submissions via comments on the appropriate pages.
Yours in the pursuit of correct pronunciation and historical accuracy,