09 May in the Histo...
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09 May in the History of Psychology

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On May 9:

1893 — William Moulton Marston was born. Marston was a colorful student of Hugo Münsterberg whose interest in the physiology of deception led to the development of the first "lie detector." Moulton promoted his machine tirelessly, even offering to test Bruno Hauptmann, the accused Lindberg baby kidnapper. Under the pseudonym of Charles Moulton, Marston created the comic strip "Wonder Woman."

1908 — Edward H. Kemp was born. Kemp was primarily a human factors researcher whose work contributed to military training and equipment design. His academic research was in audition and his applied research dealt with sonar and radar interpretation, motivation, fatigue, and attention.

1911 — The American Psychoanalytic Association was founded in Baltimore. Ernest Jones convened the founding group of eight members. James J. Putnam was elected the first president of the organization.

1931 — The Institute of Human Relations was formally dedicated at Yale University. Speakers included Frank Angell, who was a prominent psychologist and president of Yale.

1940 — Robert A. Rescorla was born. With Allen Wagner, Rescorla developed the Rescorla-Wagner theory of classical conditioning, a simple and elegant predictor of association strength in a variety of circumstances. He has emphasized the importance of probabilistic information in the learning history of the organism. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1986.

1950 — Lafayette R. (L. Ron) Hubbard published Dianetics, a popular psychology book that eventually spawned the Church of Scientology, a cult and business centered around the promotion of Hubbard's theory and techniques.

1955 — Herman C. B. Denber of New York's Manhattan State Hospital reported to the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association that the new drugs chlorpromazine and reserpine tranquillized patients with serious mental illness to such a degree that, for the first time, conventional psychotherapy could be used with them. Reserpine was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in 1953 and chlorpromazine was approved in 1954.

1966 — The state of Mississippi approved its licensure law for psychologists.

1967 — Martin Seligman and Steven Maier's article "Failure to Escape Traumatic Shock" was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. The article described the "learned helplessness" paradigm.

1973 — The petition to create APA Division 35 (Psychology of Women) was submitted. Nancy Anderson headed the petitioning group.

1973 — Roger Brown's book The First Language: The Early Stages was published. Brown studied language acquisition in three children, Adam. Eve, and Sarah. By 1982, this book had been cited in over 710 other publications and was chosen as a "citation classic" by the journal Current Contents.