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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On August 2:

1795 — Great Britain's Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne first detected errors in his assistant David Kinnebrook's time estimates. Kinnebrook was fired, but astronomer Friedrich Bessel's investigation of the errors led to the systematic study of reaction time, individual differences, and mental chronometry as a measure of cognitive processes.

1893 — Psyche Cattell was born. A specialist in early childhood and measurement, Cattell constructed the Cattell Developmental Scales for measuring the mental abilities of young children. She was the founder and director of the Cattell School in Pennsylvania.

1916 — Herman A. Witkin was born. Witkin's career began with studies in Gestalt psychology and perception. He later studied cognitive style using the Rod-and-Frame Test, the Embedded Figures Test, and cross-cultural and family processes methods to detect individual differences in field dependence-independence. His book Psychological Differentiation (1962, with R. Dyk, H. Faterson, D. Goodenough, and S. Karp) has been widely cited.

1925 — The New York Times published a review of John B. Watson's book Behaviorism, saying that Watson turned psychology "inside out," transforming it "from an inward mental groping to an exact science of objective measurement and record." Watson's book included the famous "Give me a dozen healthy infants . . . " quote.

1969 — The first issue of the APA Experimental Publication System was published. The publication was a catalog of unreviewed and unedited manuscripts available for a fee. The system was eventually terminated because of the unreliable quality of documents.


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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