From Coca-Cola to Chewing Gum

The Applied Psychology of Harry Hollingworth, Volume II

by Harry Hollingworth,
Edited by Ludy T. Benjamin Jr. and Lizette Royer Barton

Pages: 260

Size: 8 1/2 x 11

SKU: 978-1-935603-54-2 Category: Tag:


Harry Levi Hollingworth was one of the pioneers in the field known today as industrial-organizational psychology.  He was the author of more than 20 books and 100 scientific and theoretical articles. His honors were many, including serving as President of the American Psychological Association in 1927. In 1940, at the age of 60 and partly initiated by the sudden death of his wife, Hollingworth took stock of his life in an autobiography that focused on his origins and development in rural Nebraska and his subsequent career as a psychologist at Columbia University. For the first time, this autobiography is now available. An early research study funded by the Coca-Cola Company in 1911 propelled Hollingworth to fame and eventually considerable wealth as an applied researcher in the field of business psychology. Coca-Cola was being sued by the federal government under the recently passed Pure Food and Drugs Act for marketing a beverage with a deleterious ingredient, namely caffeine, and the company wanted research on humans to counter the government’s claims. The story of this research and the trials that eventually led to the United States Supreme Court are part of the fascinating career described in this book. Hollingworth’s success in applying the science of psychology to the problems of the business world opened many doors for other psychologists including many who worked full-time in business and industrial settings. This book provides an intimate account of the life and career of a very successful applied researcher who claims, in this autobiography, that the applied problems to which he devoted virtually his entire life were never of interest to him and that he did such work only for the money. The paradox of this claim offers considerable insight into the prejudices faced by applied scientists and how Hollingworth tried to separate himself from his own accomplishments.

About the Author

Ludy T. Benjamin Jr. is Professor Emeritus of Texas A&M University, where he served as a faculty member for the last thirty-two years of his career. An experimental psychologist by training, he began his academic career at Nebraska Wesleyan University and served two years as Director of Education for the American Psychological Association before joining the faculty at Texas A&M. Benjamin has received numerous teaching awards from Texas A&M University, from the American Psychological Foundation, and the American Psychological Association. In 2007, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association’s Society for the History of Psychology.

Benjamin’s scholarly work is on the history of psychology and includes twenty-five books and more than 150 articles and book chapters, which focus on the origins of applied psychology–especially clinical and industrial/organizational psychology–and on the popularization of psychology in North America and Great Britain. His recent books include A History of Psychology in LettersA Brief History of Modern PsychologyA History of Psychology: Original Sources and Contemporary Research, and Psychology Gets in the Game: Sport, Mind, and Behavior, 1880–1960.

Other books by Ludy Benjamin Jr.

Lizette Royer Barton is the reference archivist at the Center for the History of Psychology (CHP). She earned her B.A. in psychology from The University of Akron in 2004 and her M.L.I.S from Kent State University in 2007. She co-edited the first volume of the Center for the History of Psychology Series, Walter Miles and His 1920 Grand Tour of European Physiology and Psychology Laboratories. She has taught courses in the history of psychology and regularly presents her work at national conferences.

Other books by Lizette Royer Barton

Additional information


Center for the History of Psychology Series


Lizette Royer Barton, Ludy Benjamin Jr.

Pub date


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