Sealab II, an underwater habitat experiment conducted by the Navy in 1965, and Skylab, NASA’s proto-space station launched into Earth orbit in 1973, are examples of extreme environments in which psychological research was carried out on the inhabitants of these spaces. These vessels showcase attention paid to psychological field research during the Cold War, a time when isolated confined environments and small group studies were funded under federal auspices for national defense purposes. These case studies challenge historians to re-evaluate existing definitions of the laboratory and of fieldwork, as their application to novel spaces in postwar social science research differed from prior uses of these terms.

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