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

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On April 9:

1810 — Pierre Laplace presented the central limit theorem to the French Academy of Sciences. The theorem is the basis for drawing inferences about the characteristics of populations from sample data and forms the cornerstone of modern inferential statistics.

1850 — Physician George S. Huntington was born. After observing an illness in a Long Island, New York, family, Huntington was the first to describe the syndrome of familial nervous degeneration now known as Huntington's disease or Huntington's chorea. He described the condition in a paper titled "On Chorea," published on April 13, 1872.

1868 — James Leuba was born. Leuba had broad interests, concentrating on the psychology of religion, perception, comparative psychology, and motivation. Leuba founded the psychology laboratory at Bryn Mawr College in 1898.

1885 — Rosa Katz, a developmental psychologist, was born. Her 1927 book, Conversations With Children (with David Katz), described "the child's world, the children's metaphysics, their dreams, their orientation in time, their categories of reality, and their magical thinking" from field observations, one of the first systematic applications of this method.

1912 — President Taft signed legislation establishing the U.S. Children's Bureau, the first federal agency to study and report on "all matters pertaining to the welfare of children and child life among all classes of our people." There was strong opposition to the Children's Bureau. Critics cited governmental meddling in family life and wasteful duplication of existing services.

1915 — Gordon F. Derner was born. Derner's interests were in personality assessment, clinical psychology, and professional psychology. He was a pioneer in the development of professional schools of psychology, founding the early program at Adelphi University (1951). He also was the founding president of the National Council of Schools of Professional Psychology (1976).

1936 — The first Howard Crosby Warren Medal of the Society of Experimental Psychologists (SEP) was awarded to Ernest G. Wever and Charles W. Bray for their work on auditory physiology. The medal was established by Mrs. Catherine C. Warren as a memorial for her husband, one of the founders of the SEP and its first president after its 1929 reorganization.

1958 — APA Division 12 (Clinical Psychology) conducted the first NIMH-sponsored conference, "Research in Psychotherapy," held in Washington, DC. The conference addressed the issues of goals, assessment, and research problems in psychotherapy. The published report of the meeting, Research in Psychotherapy, Volume 1, was the APA's first book on the substantive content of psychology.

1959 — The Virginia Psychological Association was incorporated.