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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On April 25:

1886 — Sigmund Freud opened his private medical practice at Rathausstrasse 7 in Vienna.

1889 — Delaware passed the first state law in which the state assumed responsibility for the care of people with mental illness and mental retardation.

1905 — Henry C. Lavery patented the "phrenometer," a helmetlike device with adjustable probes for measuring the shape of the skull and giving a character assessment based on phrenology. Its success was mainly confined to county fairs.

1916 — Conrad Kraft was born. Kraft's work in visual perception, engineering psychology, and human factors research, principally for the Boeing Company, has resulted in improvements in air travel safety. APA Distinguished Contribution for Applications in Psychology Award, 1973.

1923 — Robert M. Yerkes was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the eighth psychologist elected to the Academy.

1924 — Daniel Berlyne was born. Berlyne is best known for his systematic studies of intrinsic motivation, curiosity, and exploratory behavior. He also contributed writing on aesthetics and the psychology of art. Canadian Psychological Association President, 1971-1972.

1927 — The first data were gathered in the main "Hawthorne effect" experiment. The study was conducted by Elton Mayo in the relay assembly test room at the Hawthorne plant of the Western Electric Company in Chicago. The Hawthorne data were taken to demonstrate the important effects of human relations on productivity, although more recent analysis has moderated this interpretation.

1928 — Lewis M. Terman became the 10th psychologist elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

1929 — The first meeting of what would become the Kansas Psychological Association was held in Manhattan, Kansas. At the time, the group was a section of the Kansas Academy of Science and sponsored its own program at the Academy's annual meeting. John C. Peterson was chairman of the group of psychologists.

1935 — The U.S. Army Air Corps Physiological Research Unit was authorized. The unit was established at Wright Field, Ohio, on May 18, 1935, under the command of Captain Harry G. Armstrong. The unit conducted the first studies of human performance under the special environmental conditions of flight. After several name changes, the laboratory was named the Harry G. Armstrong Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory on June 1, 1985.

1953 — The American Cancer Society reported the results of research indicating that cancer causes death more quickly in patients with "repressed" personalities. There has been continued research on the relation between cancer and personality, with special attention given to styles of coping with stress.

1968 — John G. Darley and Bibb Latan's article "Bystander Intervention in Emergencies: Diffusion of Responsibility" was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. In 1981, this article was featured as a "citation classic" by the journal Current Contents.

1979 — The first Conference on Prevention was held in Hartford, Connecticut.

1988 — Congress established the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect with the passage of Public Law 100-294, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. The act created an advisory panel with psychologist members and provided funds for treatment and research support.

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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