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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On March 6:

1492 — Juan Luis Vives was born. Vives was a humanist whose works on education advocated learning through induction and experience and emphasized a functional analysis of mental events, mental associations, memory, and emotions.

1843 — The case of Daniel M'Naghton was debated in the House of Lords soon after he was acquitted of murder by the British court. The case established the M'Naghton rule, that individuals whose mental illness render them incapable of judging right from wrong are not guilty of a crime, on grounds of insanity. Queen Victoria was incensed by the verdict.

1861 — The first state mental hospital in Iowa, Mount Pleasant State Hospital, opened for the receipt of patients. R. J. Patterson was the first superintendent of the institution and was paid a salary of $1600 per year.

1866 — Georges Dumas was born. Abnormal psychology was his focus. Dumas's encyclopedic Traite de Psychologie (1923) was a medically oriented, systematic summary of experimental psychology.

1876 — Charles S. Peirce purchased a notebook in Cologne and recorded his first set of color vision observations. Intermittent observations were made until February 15, 1877, and reported in the April 1877 issue of the American Journal of Science. Peirce was the first psychologist elected to the National Academy of Sciences (1877).

1925 — Charles C. Spiker was born. Spiker was a pioneer of experimental child psychology. His research on the basic laws of learning, using child participants, was conducted at the Institute of Child Behavior and Development (1951-1970) and the Department of Psychology (1972-1990), both at the University of Iowa. Spiker's major contribution was a discrimination learning theory that broadened the scope of Kenneth Spence's learning theory.

1974 — The APA Monitor announced the APA's receipt of the National Science Foundation Human Behavior Curriculum for the Secondary Schools grant. John Bare of Carleton College headed the project, which was abruptly terminated in March 1976, possibly because of congressional criticism of another social science curriculum project titled "Man: A Course of Study."

1974 — The bylaws of the newly created Association of American Psychologists, later named the Association for the Advancement of Psychology (AAP), appeared in the APA Monitor. The AAP is a legal advocacy group that represents the interests of psychologists.

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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