Replication and pedagogy in the history of psychology IV: Patrick and Gilbert (1896) on sleep deprivation

Thomas Fuchs*, Jeffrey Burgdorf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We report an attempted replication of G. T. W. Patrick and J. A. Gilbert's pioneering sleep deprivation experiment 'Studies from the psychological laboratory of the University of Iowa. On the effects of loss of sleep', conducted in 1895/96. Patrick and Gilbert's study was the first sleep deprivation experiment of its kind, performed by some of the first formally trained psychologists. We attempted to recreate the original experience in two subjects, using similar apparatus and methodology, and drawing direct comparisons to the original study whenever possible. We argue for a strong influence of an 'Americanized' Wundtian psychology on Patrick and Gilbert, a claim supported biographically by their education and by their experimental methods. The replication thus opens interesting new perspectives, which are unlikely to be generated by any other historical approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-524
Number of pages14
JournalScience and Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008


  • History of psychology
  • Replication
  • Science teaching
  • Sleep deprivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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