Introduction to special section: Using personal documentary sources in psychological research: 1940—1970.

This Special Section of Qualitative Psychology owes its origin to the comments of Fred Wertz in two forums. The three papers in this Special Section seek to expand the historiography of qualitative research methodology for the period of 1940 to 1970. In the first, Hevern (2019) offers a detailed historical account of how the UPD actually came to be written and why it was that the Harvard University psychologist, Gordon Allport (1897-1967), became its author. The second paper in this section by Ian Nicholson (2018) characterizes Milgram’s famous experimental response as “theatrical” and challenges whether the methodological approach used in this “the most famous study in the history of American psychology” actually answers the overall question posed at its inception. The third paper in this section offers what might seem at first a strange junction: examining the methodological concerns of psychologists Abraham Maslow (1908—1970) and Timothy Leary (1920—1996). The papers of this Special Section contribute in some measure toward clarifying that history–filling in some of the blanks in our understanding of how qualitative methods have been fashioned over the decades– and, in so doing, reinforce Allport’s argument about the crucial role that personal documents can and have served in advancing psychology as a science. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)