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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On August 20:

1904 — Anne Roe was born. Roe is best known for her work relating personality and vocational choice. Her book The Psychology of Occupations (1956) was the first thorough treatment of this topic. Her other interests included interviewing techniques, evolution and behavior, and creativity.

1913 — Roger W. Sperry was born. Sperry's best known studies were of functional differences between the right and left cerebral hemispheres. He also studied neurospecificity through nerve regeneration and the functions of displaced organs. Society of Experimental Psychologists Warren Medal, 1969; APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1971; Nobel prize, 1981; National Medal of Science, 1989.

1948 — Meeting in London, the International Congress on Mental Health formed the World Federation for Mental Health, with John R. Reese of Britain as president. The purpose of the group was to promote world peace by curbing individual aggressiveness.

1949 — The Colorado Conference on Graduate Education in Clinical Psychology began. The conference produced the well known Boulder scientist-practitioner model of clinical education. The scientist-practitioner model has continued to be the standard referent for models of clinical preparation in the years following the Boulder Conference.

1950 — James J. Gibson's book The Perception of the Visual World was published.

1953 — Manfred Sakel, who developed insulin shock therapy for schizophrenia, addressed the World Federation for Mental Health in Vienna. Sakel denounced the failure to differentiate between physiological and environmental causes of mental illness and the indiscriminate use of electric shock therapy as a substitute for insulin shock therapy. The later introduction of drug therapies reduced the use of both electric and insulin shock therapies.

1964 — The Economic Opportunities Act of 1964 (Public Law 88-452) was passed. Project Head Start, an application of psychological studies of the effects of early intervention, was funded by Title II (Community Action Programs) of the act.

1979 — The first Annual Conference on Wilderness and Psychology was held in Great Falls, Montana.


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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