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Carl Iver Hovland papers

Call Number: MS 1353

Scope and Contents

The Carl Hovland Papers represent Dr. Hovland's career in research, including his work at Yale. Dating from approximately 1937 to 1961, the papers include correspondence, reports, writings of his colleagues, records of his activities in organizations, his research under various foundations, and his writings. Dr. Hovland's role as director of the War Department study on the effectiveness of training films during World War II is especially well-documented, as is his research on communications and attitude change.


  • 1941-1961


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Institute of Human Relations, Yale University.


Arranged in five series: I. Correspondence and Reports; II. Organizations; III. War Department; IV. Research; and V. Writings.


7 Linear Feet (26 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Correspondence, reports, writings, research records and memoranda from professional organizations, all related to his work in the field of communications and the modification of beliefs and attitudes. One-quarter of the papers consists of professional correspondence (1943-1959). Principal writers are Leonard S. Cottrell, John Dollard, Irving L. Janis, Frederick Sheffield, Muzafer Sherif and Donald R. Young. Another large section is devoted to his study of the effectiveness of the War Department's training films during World War II. Also included are a series of essays written between 1939-1958, research proposals, and miscellaneous published material.

Biographical / Historical

Carl I. Hovland (1912-1961) was Yale professor of psychology, 1936-1961; chairman, Department of Psychology, 1945-1951; Director of Experimental Studies and Chief Psychologist in Research Branch of War Department's Information and Education Division during World War II; experimented and wrote about psychological aspects of persuasive communication and concept formation; director, Yale Communication Research Program; consultant for industry, government, and foundations.

Guide to the Carl Iver Hovland Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Gillian Bucky
November 1982
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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