miration for a new idea, a well-written theme, or a good set of grades. She was particularly proud when Underwood published a short piece in the local paper on the history of Albion.

Upon graduating from high school in 1932, Underwood hoped to become a high-school athletic coach—a position viewed locally, in Underwood’s words, “as being little short of aristocratic.” With the help of a scholarship, personal loans, and room-and-board jobs, Underwood attended Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, and graduated in 1936 with majors in education and psychology. After graduation, he found a temporary teaching job in the high school in Clarion, Iowa, and then, a year later, realized his long-term dream by serving for two years as a junior college athletic coach and a part-time academic teacher in Tipton, Iowa. He decided to further his education when he realized that “it was of much greater interest and challenge to teach an academic subject to reluctant minds than to try to teach a pivot shot to would-be athletes lacking in basic coordination.” With his new bride, Louise Olson Underwood, the couple headed west, where he planned to enroll in the summer session of 1939 at the University of Oregon. Underwood was experiencing difficulty in choosing between graduate work in education or in psychology, which was resolved when he took a psychology course offered by John Dashiell, who was a visiting professor from the University of North Carolina. After a few weeks in this course, Underwood made the decision to dedicate himself to a career in psychology.

Late that summer, Underwood accepted a position as a research assistant to Arthur W.Melton, chairman of the Psychology Department at the University of Missouri. Under Melton’s guidance, Underwood discovered the importance of applying experimental techniques to understand behavior



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