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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On September 11:

1793 — Philippe Pinel formally assumed the duties of his post as director of the Bicêtre asylum. Pinel had been drawn to psychiatry when a friend became mentally ill, ran away, and was killed by wolves. Pinel and his assistant, Jean-Baptiste Pussin, instituted the first modern humane care of mental patients at the Bicêtre and later at the Salpêtrière asylum.

1902 — Alice Bryan was born. Bryan analyzed the role of women in psychology, becoming one of the first to focus on women's issues within the discipline and profession of psychology. She promoted the formation of the National Council of Women Psychologists (1941), a response to the exclusion of women psychologists from war-related professional employment during World War II.

1904 — Martin David Jenkins was born. Jenkins conducted early research on race and intelligence scale scores. He found essentially equal intelligence levels and identified superior African American students, one of whom had the highest IQ score then on record. The behavioral science center at Morgan State College is named for Jenkins.

1910 — Leo M. Hurvich was born. Hurvich, with Dorothea Jameson, has been responsible for pioneering experiments on the opponent-process theory of color vision. Society of Experimental Psychologists Warren Medal, 1971; APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1972.

1944 — Edward L. Thorndike and Irving Lorge's Teacher's Word Book of 30,000 Words was published. The monumental word-counting project was funded by the Roosevelt administration's Works Progress Administration as a productive way of employing academics during the Depression.

1947 — The first meeting of the Conference of State Psychological Societies was held in Detroit.

1956 — The Special Group on Information Theory of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers met at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This meeting has been cited as the beginning of the cognitive revolution in psychology. George A. Miller, Herbert Simon, Allen Newell, Noam Chomsky, David Green, and John Swets were among those in attendance.

1982 — The Dallas Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology was established, although the first open organizational meeting was held later, on November 6, 1982, during the meeting of the Texas Psychological Association at the Lincoln Hotel in Dallas. Paul Munves was instrumental in organizing the group and was its first president.

1987 — The Rhode Island 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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