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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On April 22:

1724 — Immanuel Kant was born. Kant championed the nativistic view of epistemology. He asserted that mental processes have no substance and therefore cannot be scientifically studied.

1863 — The first meeting of the National Academy of Sciences began at 11 a.m. in the chapel of New York University. Joseph Henry was elected chairman.

1884 — Otto Rank was born. Rank was an early and close associate of Sigmund Freud. He extended the principles of psychoanalysis to art, creativity, and myth. His emphasis on the birth trauma as the cause of anxiety later separated Rank from the mainstream of Freudian thought.

1884 — Frederick Wells was born. Wells was a clinical psychologist who instituted the first mental hospital internships for clinical psychologists, at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital in 1913. He wrote some of the first articles about personal adjustment and authored a revision of the Army Alpha Test (1941).

1888 — Edmund Jacobson was born. Jacobson is best known for his methods of progressive relaxation, based on his instruments that measured muscle potentials in microvolts. He studied the covert behavior accompanying mental activity and developed what now is known as biofeedback. He was the founder of quantitative electromyography.

1899 — William James's Talks to Teachers was published. This book consisted of a series of 10 lectures originally sponsored by Harvard University in 1891 and 1892. James arranged for the printing of the book, but Henry Holt marketed and distributed it.

1903 — Karl Zener was born. Zener wrote on problems of classical conditioning and motivation, but he is best known for work on the phenomenology of perception. He described six phases that intervene between the perceived object and processes in the cortex.

1916 — Lee J. Cronbach was born. Cronbach's specialties were measurement, educational psychology, and the study of individual differences. In 1992, Psychological Bulletin published a list of its 10 most cited articles. Cronbach was first or only author of four of them. APA President, 1957; APA Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award, 1973.

1917 — The APA Executive Council appointed 12 war service committees to direct psychological participation in World War I. Under the overall direction of APA President Robert Yerkes, the committees specialized in such matters as examination of recruits, aptitude testing, morale, training, motivation, emotional disorders, acoustics, vision, and aviation.

1920 — Leonard D. Eron was born. Eron has produced exemplary applied research with empirical studies of the Thematic Apperception Test, studies of the effect of medical education on attitudes and personality, and landmark longitudinal studies of the effects of viewing televised violence on individual aggressiveness. APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions, 1980.

1937 — Patricia S. Goldman-Rakic was born. Goldman-Rakic carried out exhaustive studies of the neurological structures of the cortex underlying knowledge of the existence, character, and spatial location of objects. Later work has turned to the study of the neurophysiology of working, or short-term, memory. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1991.

1950 — The first official meeting of the Arizona Psychological Association was held. H. Clay Skinner was the first president.

1970 — The journal Behavior Therapy was first published by the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy. Cyril M. Franks was the editor of the journal.

1974 — The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Act (Public Law 93-270) was signed. The act provided counseling services for parents and provided for research on the links between maternal health and mental retardation in children.

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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