Janet Taylor Spence was a history-making figure in professional psychology and in the study of gender. In the period between her birth in 1923 and her death in 2015, vast changes took place in both domains, and Janet Spence was at the center of both. This issue of Sex Roles is dedicated to her life and work, providing a perspective and an accounting of the contributions that she made to our field. The set of papers included here chronicle Janet’s career path, evaluate the impact of her work in the areas of anxiety and of gender, recount memories from her colleagues and students, and in a closing article, analyze her place in the larger historical domain of women in psychology.
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Bigler, R. (2017). Blazing and illuminating a trail: The career and scholarship of Janet Taylor Spence. Sex Roles. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-017-0837-9.
Deaux, K. (2016). Janet Taylor Spence (1923-2015). American Psychologist, 71, 73–74. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0039859.
Eagly, A. H., & Wood, W. (2017). Janet Taylor Spence: Innovator in the study of gender. Sex Roles. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-017-0835-y.
Foss, D. (2017). Janet Taylor Spence: A model role model. Sex Roles. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-017-0840-1.
Gilbert, L. A., & Buckner, C. E. (2017). Paving the way: The distinctive mentoring style of Janet Taylor Spence. Sex Roles. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-017-0839-7.
Helmreich, R. L., & Spence, J. T. (1978). The work and family orientation questionnaire: An objective instrument to assess components of achievement motivation and attitudes toward family and career. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 8, 35. (Ms. 1677).
Helmreich, R. L., Aronson, E., & LeFan, J. (1970). To err is humanizing sometimes: Effects of self-esteem, competence, and a pratfall on interpersonal attraction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 16, 259–264. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0029848.
Herts, J. B., & Beilock, S. L. (2017). From Janet T. Spence’s manifest anxiety scale to the present day: Exploring math anxiety and its relation to math achievement. Sex Roles. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-017-0845-9.
Inside the Psychologist’s Studio. (2017, August 10). Kay Deaux interviews Janet Taylor Spence. Retrieved from http://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/inside-the-psychologist-studio.
Mednick, M. T. (1988). Martha T. Mednick. In A. N. O’Connell & N. F. Russo (Eds.), Models of achievement: Reflections on eminent women in psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 245–259). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Rutherford, A. (2017). Contextualizing a life in science: Janet Spence and the history of women and gender in American psychology. Sex Roles. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-017-0836-x.
Spence, J. T. (1988). Janet Taylor Spence. In A. N. O’Connell & N. F. Russo (Eds.), Models of achievement: Reflections on eminent women in psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 189–203). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. L. (1972). The attitudes toward women scale: An objective instrument to measure attitudes toward the rights and roles of women in contemporary society. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 2, 66–67. (Ms. 153).
Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. L. (1978). Masculinity and femininity: Their psychological dimensions, correlates, and antecedents. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. L. (1983). Achievement-related motives and behavior. In J. T. Spence (Ed.), Achievement and achievement motives: Psychological and sociological approaches (pp. 10–74). San Francisco, CA: Freeman.
Spence, J. T., Helmreich, R. L., & Stapp, J. (1975). Ratings of self and peers on sex-role attributes and their relations to self-esteem and conceptions of masculinity and femininity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32, 29–39.
Violette, A. R. (2016, January 28). Re: Inside the psychologist’s studio: Janet Taylor Spence [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from https://www.psychologicalscience.org/video/janet-taylor-spence-itps.html.
Earlier versions of the papers by Herts and Bielock, Eagly and Wood, and Foss were presented at a symposium in honor of Janet Spence, which was held at the annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science in Chicago, May 2015.
My article, “Remembering Janet Taylor Spence”, is based on my own knowledge and experience and did not involve any human participation/animal research, nor are there any conflicts of interest involved.
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Deaux, K. Remembering Janet Taylor Spence (1923–2015). Sex Roles 77, 713–717 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-017-0834-z
- Feminist psychology
- History of psychology
- Gender studies