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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On April 21:

1657 — English diarist John Evelyn recorded the details of his visit to Bethlehem Hospital in London. He saw "several poor miserable creatures in chains; one of them was mad with making verses." On April 18, 1678, Evelyn visited "new Bedlam hospital, magnificently built, and most sweetly placed in Moorfields since the dreadful fire in London." The public was allowed to tour Bethlehem hospital as a means of education and entertainment.

1848 — Carl Stumpf was born. Stumpf was an early experimental psychologist interested in the study of spatial perception, audition, and the scientific study of music.

1866 — The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was founded by Henry Bergh. The ASPCA and more militant animal rights advocates set the stage for the adoption of codes of ethical procedures in experimental psychology and other sciences.

1874 — Oskar Pfungst was born. Pfungst was a self-taught comparative psychologist best known for his methodical examination of Clever Hans, a performing horse. The Clever Hans phenomenon was a prototypical case of experimenter expectancy effects.

1882 — Percy Williams Bridgman was born. A Nobel laureate, Bridgman founded operationism, a branch of logical positivism.

1909 — Rollo May was born. May's was the first PhD in counseling to be awarded by Columbia University (1949). His theories of therapy and personality were derived from existential philosophy and were one component of the humanistic "third force" movement. He spearheaded early resistance to efforts to make psychotherapy exclusively a medical profession.

1915 — G. Stanley Hall was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the fourth psychologist so honored.

1917 — The Iowa Child Welfare Research Station was created by the Iowa legislature. The research facility resulted from the efforts of Carl Seashore and activist parent Cora B. Hillis of Des Moines. The first director was Bird T. Baldwin. The facility was renamed the Institute of Child Behavior and Development in 1963.

1926 — William A. Scott was born. Scott's career in social psychology was divided between academic appointments in the United States and in Australia. His special interests were propaganda, cognitive complexity, social influences and values, and the adaptation of immigrants to a new culture.

1946 — Baruch Fischhoff was born. Fischhoff's focuses have been both the basic and applied aspects of mathematical decision theory. He has applied decision theory to problems of environmental resource decisions, the evaluation of expert judgment, and perceived risk of sexual assault. APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest, 1990.

1954 — The West Virginia Psychological Association was incorporated. Robert P. Fischer and Herman G. Canady were signers of the original incorporation document.

1958 — Horace English and Ava English's Dictionary of Psychological and Psychoanalytical Terms, a standard reference work for many years, was published.

1962 — The Century 21 Exhibition, a world's fair in Seattle, opened. The United States Science Pavilion included several psychology exhibits, among them an exhibit on imprinting in chicks, an exhibit on maternal love in monkeys, an exhibit on behavior genetics in mice, a demonstration of operant conditioning in pigeons, and a demonstration of visual discrimination in salmon.

1965 — The state of Arizona passed its law regulating the licensure of psychologists. The law took effect on July 20, 1965.

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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