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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On August 1:

1744 — Jean Lamarck was born. Lamarck's theory of inheritance of acquired traits was an early brand of evolutionary theory that continues to intrigue biologists and psychologists.

1829 — Ivan M. Sechenov was born. Sechenov proposed that all mental processes and behavior operate as reflexes of the brain, arising through contiguous association. His reduction of cognitive processes to neural origins was farsighted but little known outside of his native Russia. Ivan Pavlov's thinking was influenced by Sechenov.

1872 — Francis Galton published a statistical analysis of the efficacy of prayer. He compared recovery rates at Roman Catholic hospitals with those at public hospitals and found no difference, despite the fact that Catholic patients probably were prayed for more often.

1880 — The second mental institution in the United States for African American patients only, the Eastern Asylum for the Colored Insane, was opened in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

1899 — Myrtle B. McGraw was born. McGraw was a developmental psychologist whose major interests included child development, maturation, and longitudinal studies of learning in twins. Her career development was extensively influenced by John Dewey.

1913 — Wilhelm Wundt administered Anna Berliner's final oral examination, during which Berliner defended her doctoral dissertation, "Subjectivity and Objectivity of Sensory Impressions." Berliner was Wundt's only woman doctoral student.

1918 — Frances K. Graham was born. Her test for brain damage, the Graham-Kendall Memory for Designs Test, and her studies of the orienting reflex, heart rate change, and reflexive blinking in infants are well-known. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1990; American Psychological Society William James Fellow, 1990.

1939 — The Occupational Information and Guidance Service was established in the U.S. Office of Education. Harry A. Jager was the first chief of the division, which promoted state offices of occupational guidance and education.

1947 — The APA Division 16 (School Psychology) newsletter was first published.

1947 — Austin H. Riesen's article "Development of Visual Perception in Man and Chimpanzee" was published in Science.

1952 — The final draft of the APA's first Ethical Standards of Psychologists was submitted to the APA Council of Representatives, who formally adopted it as policy the next day. Over 1,000 cases involving professional ethics were submitted by APA members in the process of generating this first code of ethics.

1955 — The drug Placidyl (ethchlorvynol; Abbott Laboratories) was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ethchlorvynol is used as an antianxiety agent and as a sedative. Placidyl is a commonly used trade name, but ethchlorvynol first won FDA approval under the trade name Arvynol (Pfizer) on January 12, 1955.

1958 Allen Newell, Marvin E. Shaw, and Herbert A. Simon's article "Elements of a Theory of Human Problem Solving" was published in Psychological Review. The article was the first exposition of the information-processing approach in psychology.

1966 — Norman R. Draper and Harold Smith's book, Applied Regression Analysis, was published. By 1981, this book had been cited in over 2,760 other publications and was featured as a "citation classic" by the journal Current Contents.


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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