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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On February 2:

1859 — Henry Havelock Ellis was born. Ellis wrote some of the first objective works on human sexual behavior. He introduced the terms autoeroticism and narcissism.

1859 — The New York State Lunatic Asylum for Insane Convicts, the world's first mental hospital for criminal patients, separate from a prison or general hospital, was opened in Auburn, New York. Edward Hall was the hospital's first superintendent. The hospital moved to a new building in Matteawan in 1892, but these facilities were soon overcrowded and a second institution, Dannemora State Hospital, opened on November 15, 1900.

1899 — The executive committee of Teachers College, Columbia University, authorized 15 new faculty positions. On February 25, 1899, one of these positions was offered to Edward L. Thorndike, then at Western Reserve University. Thorndike accepted and assumed the title of Instructor in Genetic Psychology for a starting salary of $1800.

1903 — Karl Duncker was born. Duncker studied apparent movement, creativity, and problem solving. He originated the term functional fixity, denoting a common barrier to creative problem solving.

1925 — APA president Madison Bentley appointed Robert M. Yerkes, Paul T. Young, and Edward C. Tolman to the Committee on Precautions in Animal Experimentation, the APA's first body concerned with the treatment of animals used in research. The current APA Committee on Animal Research and Ethics is a descendant of this committee.

1931 — Edward L. Thorndike's book Human Learning was published.

1956 — The APA journal Contemporary Psychology was first published, with Edwin G. Boring as editor.

1965 — The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology was first published. The journal was edited by John W. Thibaut.

1965 — The Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences was first published, with Robert I. Watson as the editor. Watson and psychiatrist Eric T. Carlson promoted the founding of the journal.

1976 — Marvin Dunnette's Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology was published.

1979 — The organizational meeting of APA Division 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology) was held in New York. Louis Costa was instrumental in winning APA division status.

1987 — E. Tory Higgins and John A. Bargh's frequently cited book chapter "Social Cognition and Social Perception" was published in the Annual Review of Psychology.

1991 — The APA Council of Representatives created the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI). BAPPI replaced both the Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility and the Board of Ethnic Minority Affairs. It was charged with "generation and application of psychological knowledge on issues important to human well being." Melba J. Vasquez chaired BAPPI.

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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