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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On December 9:

1484 — Pope Innocent VII issued the papal bull "Summis Desiderantes Affectibus." It appointed Heinrich Kramer and Johann Sprenger to be inquisitors in northern Germany. Kramer and Sprenger's Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch Hammer) became the standard guide to the diagnosis, behavior, trial, and punishment of witches for two centuries. It presents a comprehensive theory of behavior.

1878 — Géza Révész was born. Révész and David Katz were founders of the journal Acta Psychologica (1935). Révész's areas of research concentration were sensation and perception.

1902 — An earlier Psychological Calendar was published. It was "a collection of selections, teaching, through right use of words and power of will to direct thought so as to bring success, improve conditions — or whatever desired." The present calendar is confined to more modest purposes.

1930 — Walter Cannon delivered an address to the Harvard Medical Society on heart rate and emotion. Cannon's research explored the physiology of emotional states.

1961 — President Kennedy's panel on mental retardation recommended nationwide enactment of state laws requiring phenylketonuria testing at birth in an attempt to combat one form of mental retardation through early detection.

1976 — Psychologist Lois Barclay Murphy appeared as a contestant on the television program "To Tell the Truth." The format of this quiz show required panelists to discriminate a noteworthy person from two imposters. It's not known whether Murphy was the target person or an imposter.

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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