Amy Tanner

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Amy Tanner

Amy Eliza Tanner (March 21, 1870–February 1, 1956) was an American psychologist.

Tanner was born March 21, 1870 in Owatonna, Minnesota.[1] She earned a doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1898.[2] Following her graduation from the University of Chicago, she worked as an associate at the university's philosophy department. Four years later, she became a professor of philosophy at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.[3]

In 1907 Tanner became an "Honorary University Fellow" at Clark University, a position she held until 1916. While at Clark University, she investigated mediumship with the psychologist G. Stanley Hall. She wrote the book Studies in Spiritism (1910) which documented the tests she and Hall had carried out in the séance sittings held with the medium Leonora Piper. Hall and Tanner had proven by tests that the "personalities" of Piper were fictitious creations and not discarnate spirits.[4]

She left Clark (and academic work) in 1919, and remained in Worcester, Massachusetts. She was the director of the Worcester Girls Club for many years and represented the local Woman's Club on the Worcester Censorship Board. She purchased the Majestic Theater in Worcester in 1919 and operated it for a few years. She died February 1, 1956.[5]


  • Studies in Spiritism. New York/London: D. Appleton & Company. 1910. OCLC 504458472. 
  • Glimpses at the Mind of a Waitress. The American Journal of Sociology, 13(1), 48–55. (1907)
  • The Child: His Thinking, Feeling, and Doing. Chicago: Rand McNally. (1904)
  • Association of Ideas: A Preliminary Study. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Chicago, Chicago. (1900)


  1. ^ Cattell, James McKeen; Cattell, Jaques; Ross, Edna Elizabeth (1941). Leaders in Education. Lancaster, PA: The Science Press. p. 989. OCLC 1515467. 
  2. ^ Carroll, Robert Todd (2011). "Amy Tanner (1870–1956)". The Skeptic's Dictionary. Retrieved May 13, 2016. 
  3. ^ Young, Jacy L. (2010). "Profile - Amy Tanner". Psychology's Feminist Voices. Retrieved May 13, 2016. 
  4. ^ Tanner, Amy Eliza (1910). Studies in Spiritism. New York/London: D. Appleton & Company. OCLC 504458472. 
  5. ^ "Dr. Amy Tanner's Funeral Saturday". Worcester Telegram. February 3, 1956. 

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