[APA World Wide Web Logo]

APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On December 25:

1642 — Sir Isaac Newton was born on this day, in the same year Galileo died. Newton's work in vision and optics, and his deterministic philosophy of science have strongly influenced psychology.

1709 — Julien La Mettrie was born. La Mettrie pioneered a mechanistic view of humans, asserting that the physical being is the only being, thus providing a starting point for modern objective psychologies. Against the background of his times, La Mettrie's controversial views heightened his impact on the intellectual community.

1885 — In a Christmas letter to his parents from Leipzig, James McKeen Cattell, about to earn his PhD from Wilhelm Wundt, wrote, "I have, little as it is, done more for psychology than any American and have no reason to doubt that I can easily stand among the first in the future."

1890 — Gregory Zilboorg was born. A psychoanalyst, Zilboorg wrote articles and books on a variety of topics, including the psychology of suicide.

1903 — Mildred B. Mitchell was born. Mitchell worked with the Veterans Administration on a variety of research projects. She was the first clinical psychology examiner for the U.S. astronaut program. Mitchell participated in research and administration of U.S. Air Force contracts in bionics.

1906 — Nathan W. Shock was born. Shock was a life span developmental psychologist who concentrated on gerontology. He founded the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging in 1958 and was for 35 years head of the Gerontology Research Center of the National Institute on Aging.

1910 — Erika Fromm was born. She was influenced by Gestalt psychologist Max Wertheimer. Her interests and research were in psychoanalysis and hypnosis. Typical of her efforts to combine the science and the practice of psychology was the establishment of a psychological laboratory in a Dutch hospital.

1914 — Thyroid hormone (thyroxine) was first isolated by Edward Kendall of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

1915 — James F. Bugental was born. Bugental was an early leader of the humanistic psychology movement of the 1960s and 1970s. He was the first president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology (1962). His existential orientation emphasized an "authentic" relation to one's world, leading to "organismic awareness."

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.

Choose Another Day
How to Cite This Page in APA Style