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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On March 23:

1749 — Pierre Simon Laplace was born. Laplace is responsible for applying the concept of the normal distribution to scientific observations in general, instead of only to isolated phenomena. This assumption of generality has formed the backbone of traditional inferential statistics.

1900 — Erich Fromm was born. Fromm was a founder of the Frankfurt Psychoanalytic Institute, the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology, and the Mexican Psychoanalytic Institute. Fromm's widely read Escape from Freedom and The Art of Loving applied psychoanalytic theory to the relation between society and the individual.

1902 — Lois Barclay Murphy was born. Her research interests included projective techniques, personality, child development, and the nature of sympathy. Murphy is known for helping to initiate Project Head Start.

1933 — Philip G. Zimbardo was born. Zimbardo's work has centered on the psychology of social issues. He has studied deindividuation, institutionalized aggression and submission, obedience, shyness, anxiety and affiliation, and the consequences of time orientation. American Psychological Foundation Distinguished Contribution to Education in Psychology Award, 1975. APA President, 2002.

1949 — The first volume of The American Soldier was published. These comprehensive studies of behavior during wartime were landmarks in military, organizational, and social psychology. The first volume focused on adjustment to army life. A second volume (April 22, 1949) dealt with combat and its aftermath. Samuel A. Stouffer supervised this research effort.

1969 — The California School of Professional Psychology was incorporated with two campuses: San Francisco and Los Angeles. A campus in San Diego was added in 1971, and a campus in Fresno was added in 1972.

1972 — Pennsylvania governor Milton J. Shapp signed the state's licensure law for psychologists, the Professional Psychologists Practice Act. Psychologists in Pennsylvania began in 1949 to sponsor licensure legislation, only to see each attempt fail. Between 1960 and 1972, psychologists in Pennsylvania were certified by a state-approved board administered by the Pennsylvania Psychological Association.

1993 — The genetic code for Huntington's disease was identified by a research team headed by James Gusella at Massachusetts General Hospital. The team of researchers at six institutions included Nancy Wexler of Columbia University, herself at risk for the disease. For years, Wexler collected tissue samples from a small village in Venezuela where almost every inhabitant carries the gene.

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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