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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On November 26:

1886 — Franziska Baumgarten-Tramer was born. Baumgarten-Tramer's contributions were in industrial, social, and developmental psychology.

1894 — Norbert Wiener was born. Wiener pioneered the field of cybernetics, the application of information theory to the behavioral sciences. His first studies led to the development of a system for the rapid detection of antiaircraft fire. National Medal of Science, 1964.

1896 — The 23rd case at the world's first psychological clinic began. While the clinic's first case began in March of 1896, the 23rd was the first for which a record of a complete beginning date was kept. The clinic was founded at the University of Pennsylvania by Lightner Witmer.

1900 — Edward L. Thorndike and Robert S. Woodworth reported the results of their studies of transfer of training to the New York Academy of Sciences. The studies showed that training in one skill had no effect on the performance of other skills, thus refuting the theory of formal discipline, which held that education strengthens one's general mental powers.

1901 — German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer first interviewed "Auguste D," a 51-year-old female patient who became the prototypic case of what later would be called Alzheimer's disease. Auguste D had been admitted to the Hospital for the Mentally Ill and Epileptics in Frankfurt am Main, Germany on the previous day. Alzheimer documented the progress of the symptoms that eventually led to Auguste D's death on April 8, 1906. Alzheimer, working in Munich in 1906, requested and examined Auguste D's brain and reported the amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles typical of Alzheimer's disease on November 4, 1906. The name of the disorder was proposed by Emil Kraepelin in 1910.

1926 — Stanley R. Graham was born. Graham is a private practitioner of psychotherapy active in promoting the independent status of psychologists in therapeutic settings. APA President, 1990; APA Distinguished Professional Contribution Award, 1991.

1926 — Herbert Freudenberger was born. Freudenberger has integrated psychoanalytic and psychological principles in his work. He is best known for his description of the symptoms, etiology, and therapeutic response to burnout in mental health workers. APA Presidential Citation, 1990; APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions, 1992.

1930 — Nathan Azrin was born. Azrin was one of the founders of applied behavior analysis. An early study used behavioral methods to eliminate towel hoarding in a psychotic woman. Later work applied behavioral principles to stuttering, toileting, enuresis, alcoholism, self-injurious behavior, and marital conflict. APA Distinguished Contribution for Applications in Psychology Award, 1975.

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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