04 April in the His...
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04 April in the History of Psychology

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On April 4:

1802  Dorothea Lynde Dix was born. Dix helped found 32 hospitals for people with mental illness and 15 training schools for people with mental retardation. During the Civil War she organized and ran the military nurse service. Her work began when, as a student, she cared for a few mentally ill convicts in miserable circumstances at the House of Correction in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1835  John Hughlings Jackson was born. Jackson studied the neurology of epilepsy, aphasia, and paralysis. Jacksonian epilepsy is named for him. He emphasized that hierarchical relations between evolutionary levels of the brain were more important than the search for exact locations of functions.

1840 — Henry Bowditch was born. Bowditch opened the first American physiological laboratory, at Harvard University in 1871. He demonstrated the all-or-none firing of heart muscle fibers and proposed that nerves cannot be fatigued.

1900 — The Chicago school board authorized a "psycho-physical laboratory" under the direction of Fred W. Smedley who, in 1899, had been appointed director of the Department of Child Study and Pedagogic Investigation. The Chicago laboratory and a pedagogic laboratory in Antwerp, Belgium were the world's first public education departments of school psychology.

1904 — Edward B. Titchener founded The Experimentalists, the club that became the Society of Experimental Psychologists in 1929, after Titchener's death. Women were excluded from membership until 1929, when Margaret Floy Washburn and June Etta Downey were admitted.

1908 — Fred McKinney was born. McKinney was known for the excellence of his introductory psychology course. His lectures were distributed through National Educational Television and the University of Mid-America. His research centered on counseling and learning. American Psychological Foundation Distinguished Contribution to Education in Psychology Award, 1977.

1918 — James Emmett Birren was born. Birren's years of experimental research on age-related characteristics of neurological, sensory, perceptual, and cognitive functions made him a leader in the field of behavior gerontology. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1968.