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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On May 22:

0427 BCE — Plato was born. Plato founded the Academy of Athens, where his metaphysics, epistemology, nativism, and social philosophy found expression and came to pervade Western thought. Plato was a dualist, separating the physical world from the world of true forms. His assertion that reality is known through reason was not challenged until the rise of empiricism.

1893 — Coleman Roberts Griffith was born. Griffith was the first American psychologist to study the psychological aspects of sport, beginning in 1918 at the University of Illinois with observations of psychological factors involved in basketball and football. He directed the first athletic research laboratory in the United States (1925).

1915 — Arthur H. Brayfield was born. Brayfield's interests have been in counseling and industrial/organizational psychology. APA Executive Officer, 1969-1975.

1928 — A patent was awarded to Sidney Pressey for his "machine for intelligence tests," a multiple-choice device that evolved into the teaching machine. A second patent was awarded to Pressey for an improved version on March 4, 1930.

1930 — The Journal of Experimental Psychology received Ernest G. Wever and Charles W. Bray's manuscript, "The Nature of the Acoustic Response: The Relation Between Sound Frequency and Frequency of Impulses in the Auditory Nerve." Wever and Bray later received the first Society of Experimental Psychologists' Howard C. Warren Medal for this work.

1946 — Benjamin Spock's The Commonsense Book of Baby and Child Care was published. Spock's book influenced child rearing in America for several decades. Its child-centered orientation contrasted sharply with the adult-centered training approaches of its immediate predecessors.

1955 — The first annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) was held at the Biltmore Hotel in Atlanta, with 268 members in attendance. John B. Wolfe was elected president. The founding meeting of the SEPA was held in New York in 1954.

1969 — Allan Paivio's article "Mental Imagery in Associative Learning and Memory" was published in Psychological Review. In 1979, this article was featured as a "citation classic" in the journal Current Contents.

1984 — The first World Conference on Behavioral Economics was convened at Princeton, New Jersey. Benny Gilad of Rutgers University was the conference organizer.

1996 — The first electronic registration for an APA convention was received via the Internet at APA headquarters. The registrant was Thomas J. Capo, an APA student affiliate at the State University of New York - Buffalo. The following morning, Capo received two emails from APA. The first advised him that, since the APA was still unable to accept registrations via the World Wide Web, he should print the registration form and mail it in the old-fashioned way. The second email was from Hal Warren, the APA's webmaster, who advised Capo that he had made it into the "APA history book" as the first person ever to register for an APA convention via the Internet.


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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