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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On July 28:

1774 — Franz Mesmer performed his first supposed cure using "animal magnetism." His patient was a Fräulein Osterlin, who had 15 hysteric (conversion disorder) symptoms.

1851 — Theodor Lipps was born. Lipps promoted a theory of aesthetics that was based on an empathic relation between perceiver and object.

1887 — The Alabama Supreme Court decided Parsons v. State. The case established an important precedent in the insanity defense: that a person who could judge right from wrong was still not guilty if mental illness rendered him or her powerless to avoid the crime. This is sometimes known as the "irresistible impulse rule" in the history of the insanity defense.

1896 — Edward B. Titchener's Outline of Psychology was published.

1939 — Matina Souretis Horner was born. Horner is best known for her studies of achievement motivation in women and studies of the phenomenon of "fear of success" in talented women.

1952 — George Mandler and Seymour Sarason's article "A Study of Anxiety and Learning" was published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. The article introduced the phenomenon of test anxiety.

1955 — The Mental Health Study Act (Public Law 84-182) was signed into law. The act authorized the National Institute of Mental Health to oversee a nationwide study and evaluation of mental illness.

1977 — With the signature of Governor Teasdale, the state of Missouri passed its law regulating the licensure of psychologists. Missouri was the last of the 50 states to adopt a licensure law.

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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