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

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On April 17:

1840 — Hippolyte Bernheim was born. Bernheim was a French neurologist and hypnotist who explored the connections among suggestibility, mental illness, and psychotherapy.

1857 — The fourth U.S. institution for people with mental retardation was founded by the state of Ohio. It was located at Columbus but was destroyed by fire in 1881. The first superintendent was G. A. Doren. The Ohio Institution at Columbus was reputedly the most generously endowed of the early state institutions.

1894 — Rachel Stutsman Ball was born. Ball's contributions were in the fields of mental measurement of young children, personality development, and longitudinal studies of child development.

1903 — John M. Stalnaker was born. Stalnaker's career revolved around aptitude and achievement assessment in educational settings. He set up the National Merit Scholarship program in the mid-1950s. His research and administrative appointments included the College Entrance Examination Board, the Pepsi-Cola Scholarship Board, and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

1913 — Stuart W. Cook was born. Cook focused his research on the social problems of anti-Semitism, racism, desegregation, ethical treatment of human participants, resource conservation, and environmental protection. His career of socially responsible studies led to the APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest in 1983.

1918 — Major Bird T. Baldwin became the first psychologist assigned to a military hospital, Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, DC.

1929 — The first Iowa Academic Meet contests were held in at least 223 Iowa high schools, with winners progressing to regional (April 26) and state (June 3-4) contests. Under the direction of psychologist E. F. Lindquist after 1930, the program generated the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, standard measures of academic achievement.

1958 — Joseph Wolpe's book Psychotherapy by Reciprocal Inhibition was published, describing the method of systematic desensitization. In 1980, this book was featured as a "citation classic" by the journal Current Contents.

1970 — The journal Behavior Genetics was first published. The journal was begun by Steven Vandenberg and John DeFries and was adopted in 1973 by the Behavior Genetics Association as its official journal.

1974 — Immanuel Kant appeared on a West German postage stamp.

1978 — Raymond D. Fowler, chair of the University of Alabama psychology department and future chief executive officer of the APA, ran in the Boston Marathon. He said, "the Boston Marathon is a religious experience, like seeking the Holy Grail." Fowler's time was 3 hours, 20 minutes.

1989 — The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) and other psychoanalytic medical groups reached an agreement in a class-action lawsuit brought by psychoanalytic psychologists. The APsaA agreed to admit psychologists to APsaA training institutes, to allow APsaA members to teach in non-APsaA institutes, to allow psychologists to join the International Psychoanalytic Association, and to pay the court costs of the plaintiffs.