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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On February 18:

1790 — Marshall Hall was born. Hall was a pioneer in the study of reflex physiology. He identified reflexes as unconscious, involuntary functions mediated entirely by the spinal cord.

1838 — Ernst Mach was born. Mach was a physicist whose book The Analysis of Sensations (1886) strongly influenced psychology. The book laid down a foundation for scientific positivism and a theory of form perception that presaged Gestalt psychology.

1871 — George Yule was born. Yule's work in statistics resulted in the concepts and computational methods of partial correlation, multiple regression, and the contingency coefficient.

1896 — Fritz Heider was born. Heider applied the principles of Gestalt perceptual theory to social behavior, resulting in productive theories of attitude consistency, attitude change, and interpersonal perception. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1965.

1901 — In an early study on dream behavior, John Mourly-Vold wrapped woolen tape around the left ankles of 19 students and observed the effect of this treatment on their dreams. He concluded that more active dream imagery was generated.

1914 — Roger Kenton Williams was born. Williams's career was devoted to supervision of student research, general experimental psychology, and statistical applications of qualitative data.

1983 — The APA agreed to buy Psychology Today magazine from the Ziff-Davis Publishing Company for $3.8 million. The APA also took out a loan for up to $2.5 million to cover transition costs.

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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