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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On September 2:

1793 — Mental patients were released from their chains at the Bicêtre asylum. About 50 were released on this day and another 30 were released the next day. Philippe Pinel had recently been appointed director of the institution, but his assistant, Jean-Baptiste Pussin, began humane treatment at the Bicêtre as early as 1790.

1907 — Evelyn Hooker was born. Hooker performed a pioneering study in 1957 showing that experienced clinicians using psychological tests could not distinguish between homosexual men and heterosexual men. The study provided evidence that homosexuality is within the normal range of human behavior. APA Distinguished Contribution to Psychology in the Public Interest Award, 1991.

1907 — The first International Congress of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Psychology began in Amsterdam. Carl Jung, acting in Sigmund Freud's place, presented a paper on Freud's theories. Jung met another admirer of Freud, Ernest Jones, for the first time on this occasion.

1908 — Dorothea Cross Leighton was born. Leighton was active in the fields of social psychiatry and testing, with a special interest in cross-cultural studies of Native Americans.

1929 — Ivan P. Pavlov addressed the Ninth International Congress of Psychology, meeting in the United States for the first time. His talk was delivered in Russian but with such enthusiasm that the audience applauded portions before the translation was given. On one occasion, the applause turned out to be for a description of laboratory apparatus.

1935 — Anne Treisman was born. Treisman's early research explored the phenomenon of selective attention and has broadened to explorations of how attention and object perception are integrated. Society of Experimental Psychologists Warren Medal, 1990; APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1990.

1937 — Czech perception researcher Jan Purkinje was honored by appearing on a postage stamp issued by Czechoslovakia on this day.

1938 — B. F. Skinner's book The Behavior of Organisms was published. There were 800 copies in the first printing, of which 548 had been sold by 1946.

1955 — The APA Council of Representatives approved the APA's first model legislation for state licensure of professional psychologists. Later revisions appeared in 1967, 1979, and 1987.

1956 — Physiologist Hans Selye delivered the invited address to the APA's convention in Chicago. Selye's topic was "The Psychosomatic Implications of the General Adaptation Syndrome."

1956 — Robert S. Woodworth was presented with the first American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal at the APA annual meeting in Chicago. Woodworth was honored for his contributions to experimental psychology.

1956 — The first APA Awards for Distinguished Scientific Contributions were presented. Carl Rogers, Wolfgang K"hler, and Kenneth W. Spence won the awards. The Awards for Distinguished Scientific Contributions are the oldest of the major achievement awards granted by the APA.

1957 — APA President Lee J. Cronbach delivered his APA presidential address in New York on the two disciplines of scientific psychology, experimental and correlational. The address was frequently reprinted in books of readings on psychology.

1957 — Charles Osgood, George Suci, and Percy Tannenbaum's book The Measurement of Meaning was published. The book described the semantic differential technique of measuring connotative meanings of words.

1957 — The first American Psychological Foundation Distinguished Scientific Writing Award was presented to Ernest Havemann for his Life magazine articles on psychology appearing on January 7 and February 4, 1957. In 1969 psychological presentations in the nonprint media became eligible for this award and its name was changed to the National Media Award.

1957 — Behaviorist John Watson, near the end of his life, was honored at the annual meeting of the APA. At the last moment, overcome with emotion at the prospect of appearing before an organization he had been separated from for 40 years, Watson sent his son to the ceremony in his place.

1958 — The National Council on Psychological Aspects of Disability became Division 22 of the APA. The division is now titled Rehabilitation Psychology.

1963 — A group that later formed the Council of Chairmen of Graduate Departments of Psychology (CCGDOP) held an informal meeting at the APA convention in Philadelphia. The meeting was sponsored by the APA Education and Training Board. CCGDOP was founded in 1964, held its first formal meeting in 1965, and became the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology in 1979.

1964 — Fred N. Kerlinger's book Foundations of Behavioral Research: Educational and Psychological Inquiry was published. Kerlinger's book became a standard text in the field.

1965 — The Society of Experimental Social Psychology was founded in Chicago.

1967 — The first official annual meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy (AABT) was held in Washington, DC, during the APA convention. Cyril M. Franks was the first president of the AABT. The AABT was founded in 1966 at the home of Andrew Salter.

1968 — The organizational meeting for APA Division 30 (Psychological Hypnosis) was held in San Francisco in the Hunt Room of the Fairmont Hotel. Adel Mahran chaired the planning committee.

1968 — The Association of Black Psychologists was formed. Charles W. Thomas, formerly of the University of Southern California, and Robert L. Green, of Michigan State University, were elected cochairs of the organization. Ernestine Thomas served as the association's national secretary.

1972 — The first APA Board of Professional Affairs Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions was made at the APA annual meeting in Honolulu. The recipient was Carl Rogers. His award address, delivered August 28, 1973, was titled "The Emerging Person: A New Revolution."

1975 — The APA Council of Representatives admitted Division 36 (Psychology of Religion) The division was originally named Psychologists Interested in Religious Issues.

1975 — The independent Council for the Advancement of the Psychological Professions and Sciences and the APA's Association for the Advancement of Psychology (AAP) merged into a single advocacy organization, the AAP, at a meeting in Chicago.

1979 — The APA's annual convention introduced a trial format called "Dine with Distinguished Colleagues." For a fee, conventioneers could choose breakfast with Nicholas Cummings, Nicholas Hobbs, or Sandra Scarr or lunch with Kenneth Clark, Albert Ellis, or Harold Kelly. The experiment appears not to have become a tradition.

1979 — U.S. Representative Bella Abzug (D-NY) delivered the invited address to the APA convention in New York City. Her topic was "Social and Political Issues Related to Women."

1982 — The Colorado Psychological Association was incorporated.


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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