Mary Cover Jones was born on September 1, 1896 and died at the age of 91 in 1987 (Krasner, 1988). For many years, Jones was a typical housewife and mother. Yet, she wanted more. She wanted a career in the field of psychology. Just as everyone else, Jones struggled throughout her life to become the psychologist that she really wanted to be. She failed at attending specific colleges and seminars. However, she was not one to give up and finally ended up attending Vassar and Columbia University to obtain her degree in psychology. “Throughout her career Mary was quite involved in the child development/education field as parent/teacher/researcher/author” (Krasner, 1988, p. 91). Though she played many roles within the psychology field during her lifetime, Mary Cover Jones played more of a role within the field of developmental psychology rather than behavior therapy (Logan, 1980). Mary Cover Jones played a very important role in the world of psychology from day one by doing work within the direct area of children (the elimination of fear, self-conceptions and motivations of boys and self-conceptions and motivations girls).
The Achievements of Mary Cover Jones
Mary Cover Jones was a gentle and kind soul who cared about other human beings, especially children. Deana Dorman Logan (1980) gives a detailed description of some of Jones’s accomplishments in the following paragraph:
Author of over seventy publications, she is past President of Division 7 (Developmental) of the American Psychological Association (APA), a Fellow of both the APA and The Gerontological Society, and recipient of the G. Stanley Hall Award, the highest accolade given in developmental psychology (p. 103).
She spent much of her time studying children and how their attitudes depended on their maturity levels and how quickly they matured. These studies gained national acclaim later on in her life rather than when she first completed them a many did not support the study of children during her time. Jones was one who believed that children could actually benefit from educational opportunities that were put into place in order to meet some of their own specific needs since all children are different, develop in different stages, and gain knowledge in different ways (Krasner, 1988). Logan states the following in reference to Jones’s specific contributions to the psychology field:
Her contributions to psychology can be illustrated in four specific areas (1) the case study of Peter, (2) the establishment of the Berkeley longitudinal studies, (3) research on the problems of early and late maturing, and (4) investigations into personality antecedents of drinking problems (p. 104).
Her case study of Peter was one of her best studies; however, at the time of the study many did not give much regard to it and how it was so important to the field of psychology. Therefore, Jones was not allowed to use this study as a subject for her dissertation. The study of Peter dealt...