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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On June 28:

1712 Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born. Rousseau is best known as an author and moral philosopher, but his book Emile, ou Trait‚ de l'Education (1762) promoted the formation of developmental psychology. The book presented a conception of childhood as a series of naturally ordained stages. The role of parenting and education was to facilitate the emergence of natural growth.

1824 Paul Broca was born. Broca was the first to identify a brain location associated with a specific behavior, the speech centers of the left frontal cortex (1861). The area is now named for Broca and is thought to control the motor processes of speech production.

1867 Lightner Witmer, experimental and clinical psychologist, was born. Witmer founded the first psychology clinic, at the University of Pennsylvania in 1896, and coined the term clinical psychology.

1892 — In a letter to Wilhelm Fleiss, Sigmund Freud first used the term abreaction, to denote a verbal reaction to a past trauma. The term first appeared in public in 1893, in a paper by Freud and Josef Breuer titled "On the Psychical Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomenon: Preliminary Communication."

1907 — Edwin E. Ghiselli was born. Ghiselli helped establish the applied psychology center at the University of California, Berkeley. His interests were in individual differences, measurement, and industrial psychology. His book Personnel and Industrial Psychology has been used widely in the field. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1972.

1912 — The New York State Hospital Commission, former Congressman William Bennett, and a consortium of steamship companies met and agreed to return 2,000 immigrant mental patients in New York hospitals to their countries of origin. There were 9,241 such patients in New York at the time, and it was widely believed that European countries were intentionally sending them to the United States.

1936 — Don Hake was born. Hake was a pioneer in the fields of experimental and applied behavior analysis. His studies of conditioned suppression, social facilitation, punishment, escape and avoidance conditioning, aggression, and cooperation found applications in clinical settings.

1963 — The Republic of Nigeria offered to buy the old APA headquarters building at 1333 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC., for $350,000. The building cost the APA $90,000 in 1952.

1965 — The state of Oklahoma enacted its licensure law for psychologists.

1967 — Robert J. Douglas's article "The Hippocampus and Behavior" was published in Psychological Bulletin. By 1984, this article had been cited in over 540 publications and was featured as a "citation classic" by the journal Current Contents.

1986 — The last clinical diagnostic category referring to homosexuality, "ego-dystonic homosexuality," was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association.


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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