Walter Miles and His 1920 Grand Tour of European Physiology and Psychology Laboratories


A Reproduction of the Original Typescript, with a Foreword by David B. Baker and an Introduction by C. James Goodwin

by Walter Miles, Edited by C. James Goodwin and Lizette Royer

Pages: 360; Size: 8.5″ x 11″
Series: Center for the History of Psychology Series

SKU: 978-1-931968-85-0 Category: Tags: ,



Walter R. Miles (1885?1978) was an American experimental psychologist very much interested in laboratory apparatus and procedures, and their applications to human behavior. Early in his career, Miles received an appointment as a research scientist at the Carnegie Nutrition Laboratory in Boston, Massachusetts. When Miles arrived at the Carnegie Nutrition Laboratory in 1914, work was well underway on the physiological effects of various nutrients on the human body. Miles began studies on the effects of alcohol on physiological and psychological functioning.

The First World War severed many of the relationships that the Carnegie Laboratory had with research counterparts in Europe. After the war, efforts were made to reestablish these ties. From April through August of 1920, Miles visited 57 laboratories and institutes in 9 different countries throughout Europe. A fastidious observer and note taker, Miles documented his journey in exquisite detail. At every stop, he observed, recorded, and interacted with key figures in European physiology and psychology. He gathered all this information together into a highly-detailed report of more than 300 pages. The report, part of the Walter R. Miles and Catharine Cox Miles Papers available at the Archives of the History of American Psychology at the University of Akron, was never formally published. Now available in print, this title provides unique information about the workings of major centers of physiological and psychological research in early 20th century Europe. The book is introduced by C. James Goodwin, a renowned Miles scholar.

About the authors

Walter Miles

During his career, Walter Miles developed his own apparatus, such as a pursuit meter for measuring the learning and performance of tracking and an ataxiameter for quantitative studies on the effects of various dosages of alcohol on psychomotor performance. His many honors included the APA presidency in 1931?1932, the Warren Medal from the Society of Experimental Psychologists in 1949, and the Gold Medal from the American Psychological Foundation in 1962. He died on May 15, 1978, at the age of 93.

C. James Goodwin

C. James Goodwin is a Professor of Experimental Psychology at Western Carolina University. He specializes in spatial cognition, autobiographical memory, the history of experimental psychology and the history of laboratory apparatus.

Lizette Royer Barton

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.

Additional information




C. James Goodwin, Lizette Royer Barton, Walter Miles


Center for the History of Psychology Series