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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On September 28:

1838 — Charles Darwin read Thomas Malthus's essay on population. Malthus's ideas on species survival revealed the concept of natural selection to Darwin. He wrote, "It at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result would be the formation of new species."

1844 — In an article published on this date, physician Thomas Laycock applied the reflex concept to the entire central nervous system.

1859 — The first public school class for children with mental retardation was proposed to the Halle, Germany, school board.

1875 — The American Neurological Association was founded in New York. L. C. Gray was the association's founding president.

1895 — Karl Pearson sent the first of two papers on correlation to the Royal Society. The two papers, titled "Regression, heredity and panmixia" and "On the probable errors of frequency constants and on the influence of random selection on variation and correlation" (with L. N. G. Filon, sent 18 October 1897) provided a basic formula for the accurate estimation of correlation.

1899 — Nancy Bayley was born. Bayley was a premier figure in developmental psychology. She initiated the longitudinal Berkeley Growth Study and developed the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. She was the first woman to receive the APA's Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, in 1966. American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal, 1982.

1928 — Joan Guilford was born. Guilford's specialties have been psychometrics, differential psychology, and industrial psychology.

1945 — The Ladies Home Journal published an article about the baby-tender built by B. F. Skinner to serve as an environmentally controlled crib for his daughter Debbie. The article, titled "Baby in a Box," created widespread misunderstanding, occasional angry reactions, and persistent false rumors of child abuse and maladjustment.

1961 — David C. McClelland's book The Achieving Society was published.

1966 — Entered in B. F. Skinner's notebook: "The economic forces behind the designers of cars are fantastically powerful. When will the design of a better way of life be as strongly supported?"

1970 — A steering committee to promote the formation of APA Division 33 (Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities) was appointed during the American Association on Mental Deficiency Region 10 meeting.


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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