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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On October 13:

1869 — The Willard Asylum, the first state hospital for patients with chronic mental illness, was opened at Ovid, New York. Other states established similar institutions, hoping to provide low-cost care for chronic patients. The practice of segregating chronic patients into separate hospitals was controversial among psychiatrists, offensive to the relatives of patients, and was abandoned by the turn of the century.

1881 — Albert Edward Michotte was born. His focuses were perception, Gestalt psychology, and causality. Michotte's best remembered studies were ones in which the perception of causality was varied by systematic alterations in the relations between two moving bodies. Michotte believed that causality was not a product of learning but was directly perceived from the environment.

1910 — Meredith P. Crawford was born. Crawford brought his skills as an experimental psychologist to bear on military problems during World War II. After the war, he became the first director of the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) in 1951 and its first president when it became an independent corporation in 1969. APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions, 1983.

1938 — The drug Allonal (aprobarbital; Hoffman-LaRoche) was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Aprobarbital is a barbiturate used as an antianxiety agent and as a sedative. The barbiturates are nonselective central nervous system depressants.

1941 — The first U.S. Army Air Forces pilot selection examinations in World War II began at Psychological Research Unit #1, at Maxwell Field, Alabama. The test instruments employed, on an experimental basis, were the Complex Coordination Test, the Rotary Pursuit Test, the Seashore Visual Discrimination Reaction Time Test, the Seashore Arm-Hand Swaymeter, and the Seashore Photoelectric Aiming Test.

1950 — Linda A. Teplin was born. Teplin's studies of how police interact with individuals perceived as having mental disorders, her work on the prevalence of mental disorders in jail populations, and her development of an assessment scale to aid in referral of inmates for psychological evaluation were recognized by the APA Award for Distinguished Contribution to Research in Public Policy in 1992.

1953 — In a presentation to the annual meeting of the American Personnel and Guidance Association, Eric Berne formulated "The Transactional System of Group Therapy," later to become a dominant popular psychology of the 1960s. Transactional analysis was popularized by Tom and Amy Harris's book I'm OK — You're OK.

1958 — The North Dakota Psychological Association was incorporated.

1958 — The antipsychotic drug Stelazine (trifluoperazine; Smith, Kline, and French) was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Trifluoperazine is a phenothiazine derivative, probably acting to block dopamine receptors in the brain.

1970 — Senator John McClelland led the U.S. Senate in adopting a resolution to reject the report of the President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. Basing its findings on extensive psychological and sociological research, the commission had found no evidence for a causal connection between pornography and criminal behavior or deviant sexual behavior.

1980 — Under relaxed international relations, an APA delegation departed for the People's Republic of China to present lectures and establish reciprocal scholarly exchanges. Florence Denmark, Neal Miller, Herbert Simon, Raymond Fowler, and Harold Stevenson were members of this group.

1983 — The first Conference on Urban Mental Health was held at Queens Village, New York.


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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