Health Magazine

Do You Have These Psychology Games?

By Chp

In 1968, Joe South sang “Oh the games people play now.  Every night and every day now.  Never meaning what they say now.  Never saying what they mean.” The Sixties was a vibrant and volatile decade, often called a decade of ‘promise and heartbreak.’  It featured a greatly expanded public interest in psychology, with popular psychology manifested in a host of new magazines, books, movies, and television shows that focused on the fascination with human behavior.  The decade also ushered in a new generation of psychological games: board games and party games.  These games promised to reveal hidden personality traits, to help players get in touch with their “true selves,” to expose prejudices, to enhance empathy, and to reward psychological strategies in solving problems.  There was the “Group Therapy” game, released in 1969 that helped players “open up, get in touch, feel free.”  And there was “Insight” which appeared in 1967, a game intended to reveal a person’s personality.

At the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology at the University of Akron, one of our jobs is to preserve the historical records of psychology for scholars and others who want to understand psychology in all of its forms.  To that end we are working to build a collection of these psychological games.  One of our blogs in January 2015 described three psychology games from the 1970s and asked for individuals who might own those games to consider donating them to the Center.  Alas we have not received any of those.  From a search of ebay listings over the past several years we know that at least 50 psychology games have been marketed in the past century, and the actual number may be much higher than that.  The oldest psychology game we have identified is a game that features palm reading that was released in 1919.  We have this game in our collection (see photo).  But this is the ONLY such game, thus it is a very small “collection” to say the least.

Do you have these psychology games?

Psychology of the Hand, 1919

Here are a few of the other games out there that we hope to acquire:

Person-Alysis is a game from 1957 that uses inkblots similar to those in the Rorschach Test to reveal a person’s personality.  There are perhaps a dozen games on the market that use inkblots in this way.

Do you have these psychology games?

Person-Alysis, 1957

There is the Woman & Man game from 1971 that explores gender differences in a board game that allows men and women to stay in their gender roles or to switch so that “men can learn what it is like to be a ‘mere female,’ to compete in a world that caters to men.  And women will get a taste of male supremacy, and compete in the sweet certainty that the world is made in a male image.”

Do you have these psychology games?

Woman & Man (1971)

And there is Psychologizer from 1987 “for the people watcher in all of us.”

Do you have these psychology games?

Psychologizer, 1987

So perhaps you are preparing to clean out your attic or just reduce some clutter.  If your cleaning leads you to discover such games, we would welcome them as additions.

Or, if you’re interested in making a charitable donation, some psychology games are available for purchase on ebay. You can have them sent directly to us at Cummings Center for the History of Psychology, The University of Akron, 73 S. College Street, Akron, Ohio, 44325-4302. You can contact us at [email protected]

Here is a list of psychology games we have identified.

  • 1919   Psychology of the Hand
  • 1937   50 Million Faces
  • 1942   Profiles
  • 1957   Guys and Gals
  • 1957   Person Alysis
  • 1957   React-O
  • 1967   Insight
  • 1969   Group Therapy
  • 1969   The Robot Game
  • 1970   Body Talk
  • 1970   Blacks and Whites
  • 1970   The Cities Game
  • 1971   Perception
  • 1971   Psych Out
  • 1971   Society Today
  • 1971   Woman Man
  • 1972   The Feel Wheel
  • 1972   The Ungame
  • 1976   Roll-a-Role
  • 1976   Social Security
  • 1978   Bonkers
  • 1979   Gone Bananas
  • 1981   Assert with Love
  • 1986   Stress Attack
  • 1986   Therapy – The Game
  • 1987   Ink Blotz
  • 1987   Psychologizer
  • 1987   PSI – Psychology, Slander, Intuition
  • 1990   True Colors
  • 1993   Imagine
  • 1998   Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus
  • 1998   Rorshock
  • 2000   Think Blot
  • 2004   Dr. Playwell’s Anger Control Games
  • 2004   Psychobox – A Box of Psychological Games
  • 2012   Psych-a-Doodle
  • 2012   Psychopoly
  • 2013   Therapy Flashcards
  • 2015   Better Me
  • 2015   Doodle Therapy
  • (no date) Mindfulness Matters
  • (no date) Mixed Emotions

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