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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On May 29:

1887 — Louis L. Thurstone was born. Thurstone was an eminent psychometrician who brought mathematical methods to bear on problems of attitude scaling, factor analysis, psychophysics, and intelligence. APA President, 1933.

1904 — Robert H. Felix was born. Felix, a psychiatrist, was instrumental in the passage of the National Mental Health Act (1946) and the subsequent establishment of the National Institute of Mental Health, serving as its first director. He promoted interdisciplinary approaches to mental health issues and supported psychological research in that area.

1932 — Alfred M. Wellner was born. Wellner advanced the standards of professional psychology as chair of the APA Committee on Accreditation (1972-1977), chair of the APA Task Force on Standards for Providers (1970-1975), and executive officer of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions, 1987.

1943 — The Intersociety Constitutional Convention (ICC), composed of 26 delegates from nine psychological societies in the United States, met at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. The ICC was formed to coordinate the participation of psychologists in World War II. The beginnings of the modern structure and administration of the APA were proposed at this meeting.

1945 — The Psychology Branch of the Aero Medical Research Laboratory was approved and Lieutenant Colonel Paul M. Fitts was assigned the duties of Chief. The Psychology Branch was the first human engineering laboratory in the Army Air Forces. The first studies were of instrument legibility, movement of controls, instrument reading under acceleration, and shape coding of controls. The latter studies eliminated accidental raising of the landing gear while on the ground.

1963 — The state of Oregon adopted its first law regulating the practice of psychology. The law took effect on July 1, 1963. This certification law was superseded by a licensure law in 1973.

1963 — The District of Columbia Psychological Association approved a proposal to develop nonstatutory certification procedures. The first certificates were issued to Eugene Stammeyer, Charles R. Wilson, and Andrea Doman. Certification of this kind by state associations preceded licensure legislation in many states. Statutory licensure began in the District of Columbia in 1971.

1967 — Daryl Bem's article "Self-Perception: An Alternative Interpretation of Cognitive Dissonance Phenomena" was published in Psychological Review.

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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