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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On November 27:

1839 — The organizing meeting of the American Statistical Association was held at the American Education Society, No. 15 Cornhill in Boston, MA. Its purpose, as stated in its first constitution, was to "collect, preserve, and diffuse statistical information in the different departments of human knowledge." Originally called the American Statistical Society, the organization's name was changed to the American Statistical Association at its first annual meeting, held in Boston on February 5, 1840. The five men present at the organizing meeting in 1839 were William Cogswell, Richard Fletcher, John Dix Fisher, Oliver Peabody, and Lemuel Shattuck. They were graduates of Brown, Dartmouth, and Harvard universities and were trained in law, medicine, theology, literature and education. Although Fletcher was elected as the first president (1839-1845), he appears to have been little more than a figurehead. Lemuel Shattuck, the first secretary, was the true leader in founding the Association.

1857 — Sir Charles S. Sherrington was born. Sherrington's studies of neural and synaptic physiology, reflexes, the motor cortex, and reciprocal innervation form the foundation of modern physiological psychology. His book, The Integrative Action of the Nervous System (1906) gave impetus to modern research in this area. Nobel prize, 1932.

1874 — (António) Egas Moniz was born. Moniz was a Portuguese surgeon who performed the first modern operations on the frontal lobes for treatment of mental disorders. He received the Nobel prize in 1949 for this work and for the invention of the arteriograph.

1877 — Vivian Henmon was born. Henmon's research touched on individual differences, teacher placement, aptitude testing, language functions, and other subjects in educational psychology. He also constructed the Henmon-Nelson Test of Mental Ability.

1920 — Gardner Lindzey was born. His interests were in personality, social psychology, and behavior genetics. Lindzey's books Handbook of Social Psychology (1954) and Theories of Personality (1957, with Calvin Hall) became standard texts. APA President, 1967.

1935 — The first article of Carl Murchison's Journal of Psychology was accepted for publication. It was titled "A Tachistoscopic Device With Subhuman Primates," by Heinrich Klver.

1953 — David C. McClelland, John W. Atkinson, Russell A. Clark, and Edgar L. Lowell's book The Achievement Motive was published.

1964 — Neal E. Miller was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Lyndon Johnson for his work on learning and motivation. The actual presentation of the medal took place on February 8, 1965 in the East Room of the White House. Only six scientists had received this award before Miller and nine others were recognized in 1964.


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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