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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On March 24:

1873 — Edouard Claparède was born. Claparède wrote on sleep, neurology, and animal psychology, but his principle contributions were in child psychology. His Psychology of the Child and Experimental Pedagogy (1909) was a landmark volume in the field and influenced the work of Jean Piaget. With Théodore Flournoy, Claparède founded the Archives de Psychologie (1901).

1879 — Wilhelm Wundt submitted a petition to the Royal Saxon Ministry of Education requesting funds to establish a "collection of psychophysical apparatus" at the University of Leipzig. Because the petition was denied for lack of funds, Wundt established the first psychological laboratory with his personal equipment.

1897 — Wilhelm Reich was born. Reich was an associate of Sigmund Freud whose emphasis on sexual energy led to a split with conventional psychoanalysis. Reich later built devices to trap free sexual energy, or "orgone," and made extreme claims for the effects of concentrated orgone. His refusal to abandon the promotion and sale of orgone accumulators in the United States led to his imprisonment.

1919 — The Swiss Psychoanalytic Society was founded. Hermann Rorschach was the first vice president.

1964 — Bernard Rimland's book Infantile Autism: The Syndrome and Its Implications for a Neural Theory of Behavior was published. In 1981, the journal Current Contents chose Rimland's book as a "citation classic." It had been cited in over 425 other publications by that time.

1980 — Senator William Proxmire paid $10,000 in an out-of-court settlement of a defamation suit brought by psychologist Ronald Hutchinson (Hutchinson v. Proxmire). Proxmire had ridiculed Hutchinson's aggression research in one of his "Golden Fleece Award" speeches on misallocation of federal funds. The settlement came only after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Proxmire was not immune to prosecution.

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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