This book originated in a symposium that was held at the London Conference of the British Psychological Society (BPS) in December 1988. The fact that the various contributors were able to assemble at all was very much due to the kind generosity of the Scientific Affairs Board of the BPS, which had made resources available from its Initiatives Fund to enable Barbara Sommer to travel to the United Kingdom to participate in the event. The broad continuity among the contributions to this symposium in terms of their underlying themes led us to the view that a single volume consisting of original papers by those concerned would be a timely contri bution to the research literature, not simply on menstruation and cognitive performance but more generally on the nature of female psychology. This was confirmed by a clear sense that in their different ways, the individual researchers involved were achieving 'genuine conceptual, theoretical, and empirical progress in this area and were generating ideas and findings that accorded well with changing views of women in psychology and cognate disciplines. We hope that the various chapters in this book convey some sense of this intellectual progress and development. JOHN T. E. RICHARDSON v Contents Preface v Contributors xi Chapter 1 The Menstrual Cycle, Cognition, and Paramenstrual Symptomatology JOHN T. E.
1 The Menstrual Cycle, Cognition, and Paramenstrual Symptomatology.- Menstrual Symptomatology.- Premenstrual Symptomatology.- Oral Contraceptives and Paramenstrual Symptomatology.- The Constituent Structure of Premenstrual Symptomatology.- Cognition and the Menstrual Cycle.- 2 Cognitive Performance and the Menstrual Cycle.- Research Issues.- Definitions and Scope.- Survey of the Literature.- Discussion and Conclusions.- 3 Visual Information Processing and the Menstrual Cycle.- The Menstrual Cycle as a Biological Rhythm.- Visual Sensitivity and the Menstrual Cycle.- Psychophysiological Responsiveness and the Menstrual Cycle.- Arousal and Activation in the Central Nervous System.- Arousal and Activation in the Autonomic Nervous System.- Mood, Symptomatology, and Performance.- Critical Flicker Fusion Threshold and the Menstrual Cycle.- Discussion.- 4 Memory and the Menstrual Cycle.- Hormonally Mediated Effects Upon Cognitive Performance.- Long-Term Memory and the Menstrual Cycle.- Stress-Mediated Effects Upon Cognitive Performance.- Short-Term Memory and the Menstrual Cycle.- General Conclusions.- 5 The Demise of Dissent and the Rise of Cognition in Menstrual-Cycle Research.- Mood and the Menstrual Cycle.- Stress and Menstruation.- Stress as a Trait.- Summary of Two Research Projects.- Hero-Innovator or Rational Reductionist? Strategies of Menstrual-Cycle Research.- Entrenchment and Stagnation: The Inevitable or Escapable?.- Beyond Criticism and Deconstruction: Toward a Reconstructed Theory of the Menstrual Cycle.- 6 Menstrual-Cycle Research and the Construction of Female Psychology.- The Construction of Female Psychology.- The Construction of the Female Body.- Women's Beliefs.- Reproductive Cycles and Clinical Discourse.- The Clinical Tradition.- Diagnostic Categories and the Social Construction of Female Psychology.- Psychological Knowledge and Sexual Politics.- Popular Representations in Everyday Understanding.- Conclusions.- Author Index.
Springer Book Archives