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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On August 11:

1784 — Benjamin Franklin submitted the report of his royal commission on Mesmerism and "animal magnetism" to King Louis XVI. The report was also signed by astronomer Jean S. Bailly, chemist Antoine L. Lavoisier, and Joseph I. Guillotin, the physician who invented the guillotine. Ironically, the guillotine was later used to execute both Bailly and Lavoisier.

1888 — James McKeen Cattell was measured at Francis Galton's Anthropometric Laboratory in London. Among other measurements were an 89-lb (40-kg) right-hand squeeze and an upper limit of hearing of 19 kHz.

1900 — Clifford W. Beers was first hospitalized for mental illness at Stamford Hall in Stamford, Connecticut. Beers was a patient at four institutions during the next three years. His experiences formed the basis for his autobiography, A Mind That Found Itself, a book that inspired the mental hygiene movement of the 1920s and 1930s. Beers had the symptoms of a bipolar disorder.

1922 — Ogden Lindsley was born. Lindsley was one of the founders of applied behavior analysis. With B. F. Skinner, he instituted a program at Boston State Hospital, where the behaviors of psychotic patients were modified through contingent reinforcement. Through the techniques of precision teaching, Lindsley later applied behavioral methods to special and regular education and industry.

1926 — Edward E. Jones was born. Jones was responsible for the theory of correspondent inferences, one of the first systematic presentations of social psychological attribution theory. His other work included studies of ingratiation, social stigma, and interpersonal perception. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1977; American Psychological Society William James Fellow, 1990.

1926 — Leonard Berkowitz was born. Berkowitz is known for his thorough research in the causes of aggression, including studies of the effect of the mere presence of weapons, of the imitation of media violence, and of the effects of cognitive priming and negative mood states. APA Distinguished Scientific Award for the Applications of Psychology, 1988.

1938 — Edward L. Palmer was born. Palmer, an educational and developmental psychologist, has been director of research of the Children's Television Workshop, producers of the educational programs Sesame Street and The Electric Company. Palmer has supervised the educational and social content of the programs. APA Distinguished Contribution for Applications in Psychology Award, 1974.

1969 — Albert Bandura's book Principles of Behavior Modification was published. By 1979, this book had been cited in over 1,215 other works and was selected as a "citation classic" by the journal Current Contents.

1971 — Allan Paivio's book Imagery and Verbal Processes was published.

1976 — The first meeting of the National Council of Schools of Professional Psychology was convened by founder and president pro tem Nicholas Cummings. Gordon Derner was unanimously elected the first president.

1989 — U.S. Representative Lindy Boggs delivered the keynote address to the APA convention in New Orleans.


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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