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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On March 18:

1869 — The first published reference in the United States to the experimental psychology of Gustav Fechner and Wilhelm Wundt was made by philosopher Charles S. Peirce. Peirce's article, a review of Noah Porter's The Human Intellect, appeared in The Nation. Peirce judged Fechner and Wundt's contributions "to be of more value than all the others put together."

1886 — Kurt Koffka was born. Koffka, recognized as one of the founders of Gestalt psychology, presented a complete statement of the theory in his book, Principles of Gestalt Psychology (1935). He applied Gestalt notions to development, learning, and innate behavior.

1890 — Carl Warden was born. Warden wrote extensively on comparative psychology and introduced simple mazes and the obstruction box into animal learning studies.

1903 — Egon Brunswik was born. Brunswik's theory of "probabilistic functionalism" emphasized behavior as an adaptation to environmental conditions. His research with perceptual constancies served to confirm his theory. The related "lens model" of perceptual judgment has been expanded into a general model of human judgment.

1927 — Herbert C. Kelman was born. Kelman's career has been devoted to studies of social influence, conflict resolution, peace processes, civil rights issues, obedience, and international relations. He was a founder of The Journal of Conflict Resolution (1957). APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest, 1981.

1959 — Leon Festinger and J. Merrill Carlsmith's article "Cognitive Consequences of Forced Compliance" was published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. This was the cognitive dissonance study in which participants were paid either $1 or $20 to lie about their enjoyment of a boring task.

1961 — The constitution of the American Association of State Psychology Boards was approved and its 21 charter state board affiliates were approved at a meeting of the provisional executive committee in the APA headquarters building. Chester C. Bennett presided over the meeting. The organization is now named the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.

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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