Historical Psychology is an emerging field that examines the ways in which histories and psychologies co-evolve in a continuous way, seeking to understand how psychology changes over historical time and how the origins of our present-day psychology lie in historical processes. Historical psychology uses a variety of methods including computational text analysis, agent-based modeling, large-scale surveys, economic experiment, etc. Taking history seriously is a critical part of moving beyond the WEIRD-people problem and making psychology a genuinely universal and inclusive science.
In The WEIRDest People in the World, Joe Henrich uses Historical Psychology to explain how Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic people became the way they are today.
The traces of past human cognition accessible through historical texts and artifacts can serve as a valuable, and almost completely unutilized, source of psychological data.
The UBC Department of Psychology presents our own Joe Henrich as part of the Colloquium Series. The subject of the talk is: On the Origins of WEIRD People (Or, why psychology should become a historical science).