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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On January 3:

1845 — Reform activist Dorothea Dix presented a memorial to the New Jersey legislature, describing the state's treatment of people with mental illness. The state had no public mental hospitals and patients were housed in county jails, private homes and the basements of public buildings. The New Jersey State Hospital at Trenton resulted from Dix's determined efforts.

1875 — Katharine Cook Briggs was born. Briggs's interpretation of Jungian personality theory formed the basis of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, constructed by her daughter, Isabel Myers.

1904 — Harold Schlosberg was born. Schlosberg developed a theory of emotion that arranged emotions on bipolar scales of pleasant-unpleasant and attention-rejection. With R. S. Woodworth, he wrote Experimental Psychology (1954), a landmark text.

1920 — Paul E. Meehl was born. His interests were in clinical psychology, especially clinical assessment, and in personality, learning, psychometrics, and the philosophy of science. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1958; APA President, 1962.

1923 — Wilbert E. Fordyce was born. Fordyce has implemented revolutionary treatments for pain-related suffering that are based on applied principles of operant conditioning. Suffering is viewed as a behavior that can be reduced by common principles of behavior. Pain clinics around the world employ Fordyce's techniques. APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions, 1986.

1939 — J. Douglas Carroll was born. Carroll is known for his discovery and representation of structures underlying matrices of psychological data. He developed the individual-differences scaling model, which is used for the analysis of similarity data and has influenced perceptual and cognitive psychology. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1989.

1961 — George Homans's book Social Behavior: Its Elementary Forms was published.

1964 — Milton Rokeach's book The Three Christs of Ypsilanti was published. The book presents classic case studies of abnormal personality.

1972 Allen Newell and Herbert Simon's book Human Problem Solving was published. In 1980, this book was featured as a "citation classic" by the journal Current Contents.

1992 — In its ruling on Abrahamson v. Gonzalez, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Florida's law prohibiting unlicensed practitioners from calling themselves psychologists was an unconstitutional restriction of free speech.

Copyright © 1995, American Psychological Association. Web version by permission. Source: Street, W. R. (1994). A Chronology of Noteworthy Events in American Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. The American Psychological Association and Central Washington University have supported the development of the APA Historical Database.

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