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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


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.


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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