Oddities abound at the new National Museum of Psychology, a trove of pictures, film, documents, testing equipment and other artifacts at the University of Akron.

The museum is the only one of its kind in the country and the largest collection of items focusing on the history of psychology in the world.

We asked Executive Director David Baker to highlight several of the dozens of new exhibits at the museum:

Utica Crib — This artifact is an adult-size restraining bed used in asylums (an outdated term for psychiatric hospitals) in the 19th century.

The wooden crib that resembles a cage is locked from the outside. It’s named for an institution in New York that pioneered its use.

“At the time, it was considered a more humane alternative than just chaining people to walls or beating them senseless,” Baker said.

Replica of Sigmund Freud’s office in Vienna, Austria — Included is a facsimile of the couch used by the famed psychoanalyst and reproductions of small statues that decorated the office.

Nobel Prize medal won by psychologist Roger Wolcott Sperry — Sperry won the prize in 1981 for his “split brain” research, pioneering work involving how the two hemispheres of the brain communicate with each other. (Two other researchers share the award with him.)

A popular — but incorrect — interpretation of Sperry’s work is that people are “right-brained” (creative) or “left-brained” (analytical), Baker said.

Babe Ruth psychological tests — In 1921, the famed slugger underwent psychological testing at Columbia University in New York.

The idea was to gain insight into his tremendous abilities as a baseball player.

Tests included those focusing on dexterity and reaction time. An interactive display allows museum visitors to “test their abilities against those of the Great Bambino,” Baker noted.

Simulated “shock box” — In the early 1960s, Yale University professor Stanley Milgram, interested in how ordinary people could harm others, had test subjects give apparently painful shocks to people at the instruction of an authority figure.

People receiving the shocks, as well as the authority figure, were actors and the “shock box” was fake.

In one variation of the study, a majority of the subjects continued to administer apparently painful shocks, even as the “victims” protested.

Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or kbyard@thebeaconjournal.com. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter.