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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On March 5:

1838 — Gustav T. Fritsch was born. Fritsch and a colleague, Eduard Hitzig, were the first to establish the electrical excitability of the brain and thus to establish correspondence between some brain locations and motor responses.

1847 — The governor of Louisiana approved an act that established the Louisiana Insane Asylum in Jackson, the state's first state mental hospital. The hospital opened in mid-November, 1848 when 85 patients were transferred from Charity Hospital in New Orleans. James King was the first superintendent of the institution. The hospital is now named East Louisiana State Hospital. On July 1, 1910, the state legislature added a ward for mentally ill criminals.

1906 Dael Wolfle was born. Wolfle is a specialist in organizational psychology and scientific manpower who has held many administrative posts in scientific and technical organizations. He was the first executive secretary of the APA (1946-1950), holding office at the time of the modern reorganization of the APA and its rapid postwar growth in membership and scope.

1912 — Isidor Chein was born. Chein was a social psychologist who brought skilled methodology to bear on social issues such as juvenile delinquency, drug addiction, intergroup relations, and ethnic group identification. APA Award for Distinguished Contributions in the Public Interest, 1980.

1918 — Robert Chin (Chen Yuli) was born. Chin's research focused on organizational theory and on social issues related to prejudice and racism. He was a cofounder of the Human Relations Center at Boston University and coauthor, with Warren Bennis and Kenneth Benne, of The Planning of Change (1961), an influential exposition of social psychology research applied to organizational settings.

1934 — Daniel Kahneman was born. Kahneman studied the role of cognitive heuristics in judgments of uncertain events and thus created a new dimension in the understanding of cognitive processes. Kahneman worked with Amos Tversky to develop prospect theory. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1982.

1979 — In its decision on Detroit Edison v. National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the confidentiality of employee test scores. The National Labor Relations Board had ordered Detroit Edison to release employee aptitude test scores to its employee union.

2002 — The first state law authorizing properly trained psychologists to prescribe psychotropic medications was signed by New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. The legislative effort was spearheaded by the New Mexico Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association Practice Directorate.


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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