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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On January 26:

1884 — Edward Sapir was born. Sapir was an anthropologist whose work related culture, language, and personality.

1891 — Wilder Penfield was born. Penfield was a neurosurgeon who carried out classic studies of the neurology of epilepsy. He also discovered that electrical stimulation of portions of the cortex could evoke vivid experiences of past events.

1907 — Marie Jahoda was born. Jahoda's studies of prejudice and discrimination contributed to understanding anti-Semitism and authoritarianism. Her work on race relations included studies of desegregated housing and schools. APA Award for Distinguished Contributions in the Public Interest, 1979.

1907 — Hans Selye was born. Selye borrowed the term stress from physics to describe human and animal reactions to arousing environmental conditions. His work on the effects of stress and his general adaptation syndrome theory have generated hundreds of research articles on this subject.

1914 — Fillmore H. Sanford was born. Sanford's academic interests were in studies of leadership, attitudes, language, and mental health. As executive secretary of the APA (1950-1956), he promoted licensing and certification standards to fight quackery in psychological services.

1947 — The first list of APA-evaluated graduate programs in clinical psychology was chosen. Forty graduate schools completed self-report surveys and a list of characteristics was assembled by a committee chaired by Robert R. Sears. The impetus for the effort was a request from the Veterans Administration for advice about postwar hiring and professional training standards.

1968 — Paul Brown and Herbert Jenkins's article "Auto-Shaping of the Pigeon's Key-Peck" was published in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

1975 — The APA Council of Representatives urged two competing political action bodies, the Council for the Advancement of the Psychological Professions and Sciences and the Association for the Advancement of Psychology, to merge and form "a single advocacy organization for the good of American psychology." The merger occurred on September 2, 1975.

1990 — The first meeting of the Steering Committee for a National Research Agenda in Psychology began. Initiated by the Association for Psychological Science (then named the American Psychological Society), the meeting was attended by representatives of 65 psychological societies..


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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