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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On December 7:

1894 — James M. Baldwin's book Mental Development in the Child was published.

1895 Francis Cecil Sumner was born. Sumner was the first African American to earn a PhD in psychology (1920). His many translations, book reviews, and abstracts reflected broad interests, with a focus on social psychology.

1901 — On a train trip with five other staff members of the Vineland Training School, director Edward R. Johnstone suggested forming a group to study the nature of intelligence and retardation. The group came to be called the Feeble-Minded Club in concert with the terminology of the day and evolved into the Vineland Laboratory by 1906.

1910 — Eleanor Jack Gibson was born. Gibson's work in perceptual development led to the APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award in 1968. Her "visual cliff" experiments are particularly well-known. She was the second female psychologist elected to the National Academy of Sciences (1971). National Medal of Science, 1992.

1924 — Frank Joseph McGuigan was born. McGuigan was director of the Institute for Stress Management at United States International University, and wrote extensively about stress and tension control and covert language behavior. McGuigan was nominated twice for the Nobel prize in physiology. American Psychological Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award (1973) and Gold Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement (1995).

1928 — Noam Chomsky was born. Chomsky's transformational generative grammar represents a modern nativistic approach to thought and language. His views strongly countered theories of language that were based on elaborations of simple learning processes. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1984.

1965 — The journal Perception and Psychophysics, edited by Clifford T. Morgan, was first published by the Psychonomic Society.

1980 — The Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences was founded. Eight scientific societies were charter members. George Mandler was elected president and Emanuel Donchin vice president. The Federation educates policymakers, serves as an advocate for psychology, and informs member organizations about funding and policy issues.

1986 — The first official meeting of APA Division 46 (Media Psychology) was held in Los Angeles. Stuart Fischoff was the president of the division.


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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