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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On June 7:

1829 — Eduard Pflüger was born. Pflüger explored the electrical stimulation of motor nerves and the functions of the spinal cord. He contended that spinal reflexes were conscious functions because they were purposeful.

1876 — The American Association on Mental Deficiency held its first meeting in Media, Pennsylvania.

1882 — Josef Breuer treated "Anna O." for the last time. Soon afterward she was admitted to a sanitorium in Kreutzlingen, Switzerland. Records there show her far from cured of her symptoms.

1890 — Karl S. Lashley was born. Lashley's theory of equipotentiality sprang from studies of brain extirpation that indicated that learning was more influenced by the amount of tissue removed than by the location of the tissue. APA President, 1929; Society of Experimental Psychologists Warren Medal, 1937.

1902 — Edwin B. Twitmyer's dissertation was approved and he was recommended to the trustees of the University of Pennsylvania for the PhD degree. His dissertation reported classical conditioning of the knee-jerk reflex 3 years before Pavlov's studies of classical conditioning were published, but little note was taken of Twitmyer's work. His PhD was granted on June 18, 1902.

1918 — Leo Postman was born. Postman primarily studied perception, learning, and memory. He participated in the beginnings of the "new look" school of perception that emphasized the role of cognitive factors such as emotional state and cognitive set in determining perceptions.

1932 — David M. Green was born. Green was one of the founders of signal detection theory and promoted the application of information processing concepts to cognitive psychology. He has greatly clarified the mechanisms by which the ear processes the frequency, temporal, and spatial information in complex auditory signals. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1981.

1965 — A U.S. Senate subcommittee on constitutional rights convened hearings on nonvoluntary psychological testing by employers. Use of the MMPI and projective tests as employment screening instruments provoked questioning by legislators and ridicule by newspaper humor columnists. Senator Sam Ervin (D-TX) was chairman of the subcommittee.

1972 — In its ruling on Jackson v. Indiana, the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional to indefinitely confine persons accused of crimes but judged mentally incompetent to stand trial.

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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