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College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Today in Psychology

A Daily Calendar of Events in the History of Psychology



Today's Date: April 19-22



On April 19:

1774 — An African American woman named Charity was admitted to the Hospital for the Insane at Williamsburg, becoming the first African American person admitted to a mental institution in the United States.

1801 — Gustav Theodor Fechner was born. His theory relating stimulus energy to sensory experience marked the beginnings of scientific psychology and the field of experimental psychophysics. Fechner's personal eccentricity and the fact that he recorded the date of his psychophysical insight (October 22, 1850) has resulted in Fechner Day celebrations in some psychology departments.

1827 — Daniel Hack Tuke was born. Tuke was the great-grandson of William Tuke, the founder of the York Retreat, one of the first centers of humane treatment of people with mental illness. Hack Tuke wrote extensively on mental illness, including an exhaustive history of British psychiatry, a field study of psychiatric institutions and methods in the United States and Canada, and the comprehensive Dictionary of Psychological Medicine (1892).

1902 — The Chicago Branch of the APA was formed on the campus of Northwestern University. This organization later became the Midwestern Psychological Association after many name changes and is the oldest regional psychological association affiliated with the APA.

1904 — Carl G. Jung published his first studies on word association. The studies, carried out at the Burghölzli Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland, were interpreted by Jung as support for Sigmund Freud's theory of neurosis.

1905 — Irving Lorge was born. Lorge gathered the first data on the effects of schooling on intelligence test scores. He and Edward L. Thorndike collaborated to produce the widely used book, The Teacher's Word Book of 30,000 Words (1944), a list of the relative frequencies of appearance of English words in general literature.

1911 — The National Academy of Sciences Section on Anthropology was renamed the Section on Anthropology and Psychology. This was the first organizational accommodation to psychology by the National Academy of Sciences.

1931 — Stephen E. Goldston was born. Goldston has promoted primary prevention mental health programs throughout his long career at the National Institute of Mental Health. His book Primary Prevention: An Idea Whose Time Has Come (1977, with Donald Klein) called for greater support of preventive programs at that time. APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions, 1984.

1943 — Albert Hofmann took the first intentional LSD "trip" to confirm his suspicions about the cause of hallucinations he had experienced following accidental absorption of the chemical 3 days earlier. He ingested 250 micrograms of LSD, about 10 times the threshold amount. His experience was a "hellish nightmare of threatening images."

1946 — The Manual of Child Psychology, edited by Leonard Carmichael, was published. In 1970, Paul H. Mussen assumed the editorship of the book, which was then titled Carmichael's Manual of Child Psychology in recognition of Carmichael's comprehensive summary of the field.

1977 — In Ingraham v. Wright, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that corporal punishment in the schools is not unconstitutional. An earlier similar case denied hearing by the Court (_Baker v. Owen, October 20, 1975) prompted the APA Council of Representatives to oppose corporal punishment in a resolution passed January 24, 1975.

On April 20:

1745 — Philippe Pinel was born. With his appointment in 1793 to the directorship of the Bicêtre insane asylum, Pinel began modern, humane treatment of institutionalized mental patients. He was one of the first to act on the belief that abnormal behavior was the result of natural causes instead of moral degeneration or demonic possession.

1894 — Carolyn Zachry was born. Zachry promoted the social adjustment and mental health missions of the schools, using psychological principles to accomplish those goals.

1914 — Reflecting his split with Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung resigned the presidency of the International Psychoanalytic Association.

1915 — Joseph Wolpe was born. Wolpe developed and promoted behavioral techniques of psychotherapy. The method of systematic desensitization is attributed to Wolpe. His Psychotherapy by Reciprocal Inhibition (1958) and The Practice of Behavior Therapy (1969) were landmark books in the field. APA Distinguished Scientific Award for Applications of Psychology, 1979.

1917 — Urie Bronfenbrenner was born. Bronfenbrenner, a developmental psychologist, emphasized the social context of child development, providing an impetus for Project Head Start. In the 1960s, his research on "mirror image" perceptions provided an understanding of Soviet-American relations. APA Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology in the Public Interest, 1987.

1926 — Emory L. Cowen was born. Cowen's research, model programs, program evaluations, and workshops have been landmarks in the development of the field of community mental health. He pioneered methods of early detection and prevention of mental disorders. APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest, 1989.

1950 — Anna Freud spoke at Clark University's 60th anniversary celebration on "The Contribution of Psychoanalysis to Genetic Psychology." Her father had delivered a noteworthy lecture series in 1909 at Clark's 20th anniversary celebration, the occasion of his only trip to America. Each Freud received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Clark.

1961 — The Journal of Humanistic Psychology was first published. The journal was edited by Anthony Sutich.

1965 — Leonard P. Ullmann and Leonard Krasner's book Case Studies in Behavior Modification was published. This was the first use of the term behavior modification in the title of a book. By 1980, Ullman and Krasner's book had been cited in over 480 other publications and it was selected as a "citation classic" by the journal Current Contents.

1966 — Mark R. Rosenzweig's article "Environmental Complexity, Cerebral Change, and Behavior" was published in the American Psychologist.

On April 21:

1657 — English diarist John Evelyn recorded the details of his visit to Bethlehem Hospital in London. He saw "several poor miserable creatures in chains; one of them was mad with making verses." On April 18, 1678, Evelyn visited "new Bedlam hospital, magnificently built, and most sweetly placed in Moorfields since the dreadful fire in London." The public was allowed to tour Bethlehem hospital as a means of education and entertainment.

1848 — Carl Stumpf was born. Stumpf was an early experimental psychologist interested in the study of spatial perception, audition, and the scientific study of music.

1866 — The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was founded by Henry Bergh. The ASPCA and more militant animal rights advocates set the stage for the adoption of codes of ethical procedures in experimental psychology and other sciences.

1874 — Oskar Pfungst was born. Pfungst was a self-taught comparative psychologist best known for his methodical examination of Clever Hans, a performing horse. The Clever Hans phenomenon was a prototypical case of experimenter expectancy effects.

1882 — Percy Williams Bridgman was born. A Nobel laureate, Bridgman founded operationism, a branch of logical positivism.

1909 — Rollo May was born. May's was the first PhD in counseling to be awarded by Columbia University (1949). His theories of therapy and personality were derived from existential philosophy and were one component of the humanistic "third force" movement. He spearheaded early resistance to efforts to make psychotherapy exclusively a medical profession.

1915 — G. Stanley Hall was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the fourth psychologist so honored.

1917 — The Iowa Child Welfare Research Station was created by the Iowa legislature. The research facility resulted from the efforts of Carl Seashore and activist parent Cora B. Hillis of Des Moines. The first director was Bird T. Baldwin. The facility was renamed the Institute of Child Behavior and Development in 1963.

1926 — William A. Scott was born. Scott's career in social psychology was divided between academic appointments in the United States and in Australia. His special interests were propaganda, cognitive complexity, social influences and values, and the adaptation of immigrants to a new culture.

1946 — Baruch Fischhoff was born. Fischhoff's focuses have been both the basic and applied aspects of mathematical decision theory. He has applied decision theory to problems of environmental resource decisions, the evaluation of expert judgment, and perceived risk of sexual assault. APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest, 1990.

1954 — The West Virginia Psychological Association was incorporated. Robert P. Fischer and Herman G. Canady were signers of the original incorporation document.

1958 — Horace English and Ava English's Dictionary of Psychological and Psychoanalytical Terms, a standard reference work for many years, was published.

1962 — The Century 21 Exhibition, a world's fair in Seattle, opened. The United States Science Pavilion included several psychology exhibits, among them an exhibit on imprinting in chicks, an exhibit on maternal love in monkeys, an exhibit on behavior genetics in mice, a demonstration of operant conditioning in pigeons, and a demonstration of visual discrimination in salmon.

1965 — The state of Arizona passed its law regulating the licensure of psychologists. The law took effect on July 20, 1965.

On April 22:

1724 — Immanuel Kant was born. Kant championed the nativistic view of epistemology. He asserted that mental processes have no substance and therefore cannot be scientifically studied.

1863 — The first meeting of the National Academy of Sciences began at 11 a.m. in the chapel of New York University. Joseph Henry was elected chairman.

1884 — Otto Rank was born. Rank was an early and close associate of Sigmund Freud. He extended the principles of psychoanalysis to art, creativity, and myth. His emphasis on the birth trauma as the cause of anxiety later separated Rank from the mainstream of Freudian thought.

1884 — Frederick Wells was born. Wells was a clinical psychologist who instituted the first mental hospital internships for clinical psychologists, at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital in 1913. He wrote some of the first articles about personal adjustment and authored a revision of the Army Alpha Test (1941).

1888 — Edmund Jacobson was born. Jacobson is best known for his methods of progressive relaxation, based on his instruments that measured muscle potentials in microvolts. He studied the covert behavior accompanying mental activity and developed what now is known as biofeedback. He was the founder of quantitative electromyography.

1899 — William James's Talks to Teachers was published. This book consisted of a series of 10 lectures originally sponsored by Harvard University in 1891 and 1892. James arranged for the printing of the book, but Henry Holt marketed and distributed it.

1903 — Karl Zener was born. Zener wrote on problems of classical conditioning and motivation, but he is best known for work on the phenomenology of perception. He described six phases that intervene between the perceived object and processes in the cortex.

1916 — Lee J. Cronbach was born. Cronbach's specialties were measurement, educational psychology, and the study of individual differences. In 1992, Psychological Bulletin published a list of its 10 most cited articles. Cronbach was first or only author of four of them. APA President, 1957; APA Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award, 1973.

1917 — The APA Executive Council appointed 12 war service committees to direct psychological participation in World War I. Under the overall direction of APA President Robert Yerkes, the committees specialized in such matters as examination of recruits, aptitude testing, morale, training, motivation, emotional disorders, acoustics, vision, and aviation.

1920 — Leonard D. Eron was born. Eron has produced exemplary applied research with empirical studies of the Thematic Apperception Test, studies of the effect of medical education on attitudes and personality, and landmark longitudinal studies of the effects of viewing televised violence on individual aggressiveness. APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions, 1980.

1937 — Patricia S. Goldman-Rakic was born. Goldman-Rakic carried out exhaustive studies of the neurological structures of the cortex underlying knowledge of the existence, character, and spatial location of objects. Later work has turned to the study of the neurophysiology of working, or short-term, memory. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1991.

1950 — The first official meeting of the Arizona Psychological Association was held. H. Clay Skinner was the first president.

1970 — The journal Behavior Therapy was first published by the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy. Cyril M. Franks was the editor of the journal.

1974 — The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Act (Public Law 93-270) was signed. The act provided counseling services for parents and provided for research on the links between maternal health and mental retardation in children.



Searchable APA Historical Database by Date or Keyword

Street, W. R. (2007, October 4). April 19-22 in Psychology. Retrieved April 19, 2018, from the American Psychological Association Historical Database Web site at Central Washington University: