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17 November in the History of Psychology


Aamir Ranjha
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On November 17:

1857 — Joseph François Félix Babinski was born. Babinski was a French neurologist who discovered several reflexive signs for diagnosing impairment of the central nervous system. The Babinski reflex of the toes in infants is often used in introductory psychology texts as an example of an innate reflex that disappears with growth of the nervous system.

1900 — The College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) was founded. The tests of the CEEB have been intended to provide objective measurements of academic aptitude.

1932 — As a 28-year-old graduate student, B. F. Skinner wrote his plan of career goals for ages 30-60: (a) Publish experimental descriptions of behavior, (b) promote behaviorism and operational definitions of psychological constructs, (c) develop a scientific theory of knowledge, and (d) comment on nonscientific theories of knowledge.

1977 — The Parent Interview Kit for the System of Multicultural Pluralistic Assessment (SOMPA) was published. Jane R. Mercer was the author of the SOMPA.

1979 — The first meeting of the APA Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) Steering Committee was held at the New York Center for Psychoanalytic Training, the first central office of the division. Reuben Fine was president of the division at this first meeting.

1981 — Howard Gardner became the first psychologist to win a MacArthur Prize Fellows award. The awards are made to secretly nominated individuals of exceptional talent and carry no reporting or productivity requirements. Gardner was a Boston University developmental psychologist and neurologist whose Project Zero studied the nature of creativity and its development.

1982 — Howard Gardner's book Art, Mind, and Brain was published.