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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On March 25:

1845 — The New Jersey state legislature authorized construction of the state's first mental hospital, the New Jersey Lunatic Asylum at Trenton. The legislative action was largely due to the efforts of mental health care reformer Dorothea Dix. The hospital was the first to be built on the "Kirkbride plan" for hospital construction. When the hospital admitted its first patients on May 15, 1848, it was the first hospital promoted by Dix to open.

1900 — Ruth W. Howard Beckham was born. Beckham was the first African American woman to earn the PhD in psychology, awarded to her at the University of Minnesota in 1934. Her research and consulting focused on the areas of mental retardation, child development, and family counseling. She directed the mental health and training programs of the National Youth Administration.

1919 — Fred Attneave III was born. Attneave was a perceptual psychologist whose book Applications of Information Theory to Psychology (1959) strongly influenced modern cognitive psychology, scaling theory, and theories of pattern recognition.

1929 — Lois Wladis Hoffman was born. Hoffman's research on women's issues has included studies of the effects of maternal employment, fear of success, and role conflict in children. Her two-volume book Review of Child Development Research (1964, 1966, with Martin Hoffman) is her best known work.

1941 — The National Guidance Association was established, with headquarters at Chicago. Its domain included "educational, vocational, recreational, social, health, and citizenship" fields.

1947 — Ellen Langer was born. Langer's mindfulness theory, which describes the effect of information processing on social responses, has been applied to problems as varied as arthritis, burnout, and acceptance of deviance. She was the first woman tenured in the Harvard University Department of Psychology (1981). APA Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest Award, 1988.

1948 — Governor Earle Clements of Kentucky signed his state's licensure law for psychologists. Kentucky was the third state to adopt legislation regulating the practice of psychology.

1954 — Lewis M. Terman delivered the first Walter Van Dyke Bingham Award lecture, "The Discovery and Encouragement of Exceptional Talent" at the University of California, Berkeley. The award was funded by an endowment from Bingham's estate.

1963 — The state of Nevada adopted its psychologist licensure law. The state's board of psychological examiners was created shortly afterward, on July 1, 1963. A. Lloyd Anderson became the first licensed psychologist in the state.

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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