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

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On May 20:

1806 — John Stuart Mill was born. Mill extended the philosophy of associationism by proposing that simple elements combine to form wholly new experiences that are not merely additive products of their constituent parts. This concept was a precursor of Gestalt psychology.

1848 — George John Romanes was born. Romanes is considered to be the founder of comparative psychology, although his tendency to anthropomorphize was avoided by later students of animal behavior.

1890 — Catherine Cox Miles was born. Miles is best known for her collaboration with Lewis Terman on longitudinal studies of the gifted and studies of gender differences in personality.

1904 — Frank A. Geldard was born. Geldard, a sensory psychologist with broad-ranging expertise, was the University of Virginia's first psychology faculty member (1928). His The Human Senses (1953) served as a basic text for many years. During World War II he developed aviation training programs and continued to serve as a consultant to the military after the war. American Psychological Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award, 1974.

1915 — Mary J. Wright was born. Wright's initial research was in child and social psychology, which she combined with teaching and community service. She then turned to administration, becoming the first woman to head a psychology department in Canada, at the University of Western Ontario. Wright was the first woman president of the Canadian Psychological Association.

1917 — David C. McClelland was born. McClelland is known for his work in motivation in general but is best known for his work in the measurement, causes, and correlates of achievement motivation. His book The Achieving Society (1961) has been translated into several languages. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1987.

1930 — Richard J. Herrnstein was born. Herrnstein's work has been in the history and systems of psychology and in the experimental analysis of behavior, with special attention given to the effect of reinforcement history on choice behavior and concept formation. His book IQ and the Meritocracy (1973) presented a controversial view of the relation between remedial programs, hereditary intelligence, and social success.

1946 — The Viennese Association of Individual Psychology, disbanded during the Nazi occupation of Austria, was reopened at ceremonies at the University of Vienna.

1946 — The Pennsylvania Psychological Association was created by a revision of the constitution of the Pennsylvania Association of Clinical Psychologists (PACP). Dael Wolfle, executive director of the newly-reconstituted APA, was the keynote speaker at this meeting. The PACP was dormant during World War II and Morris Viteles, of the University of Pennsylvania, was responsible for this first postwar meeting.

1957 — Pioneer physiologist William Harvey appeared on a postage stamp issued by the Soviet Union.

1960 — The APA Board of Directors accepted a $15,000 grant from the Society for Investigation of Human Ecology for senior psychologists to visit the Soviet Union. In 1977 it was disclosed that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) secretly funded the grant, hoping to learn more about Soviet behavioral research. The project was code named MKULTRA by the CIA.

1989 — The Appalachian Psychoanalytic Society was founded at the Holiday Inn World's Fair in Nashville, Tennessee. Paul Lerner was elected first president of the organization.