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20 November in the History of Psychology


Aamir Ranjha
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On November 20:

1855 — Josiah Royce was born. Royce was a philosopher with a strong interest in the problems of psychology. His papers addressed consciousness, imitation, extrasensory perception, invention, consulting, self-consciousness, and mental disorders. APA President, 1901.

1875 — Wilhelm Wundt gave his first lecture at the University of Leipzig. The lecture was titled "The Influence of Philosophy on the Experiential Sciences."

1883 — William James wrote to the trustees of Harvard University to ask for a small room and $300 for a psychology research laboratory. The trustees allocated funds but did not dedicate space until two rooms in Lawrence Hall were assigned in the spring of 1885. James had earlier (1875) founded a demonstration laboratory to accompany his course on the "new" physiological psychology.

1886 — Karl von Frisch was born. Von Frisch is best known for his ethological studies of communicative "dances" in honeybees, for which he won the Nobel prize in 1973.

1916 — Donald T. Campbell was born. Campbell's writing on research methods, measurement, and social psychology reflects broad interests in psychology, philosophy, and sociology. His Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Research (1963; with Julian Stanley) is a commonly cited source on research methods. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1970; APA President, 1975.

1916 — Charles Osgood was born. Osgood's interest in psycholinguistics led to extensive study of the connotative meanings of words, as measured by his semantic differential technique. His work in the psychology of negotiation resulted in a strategy of graduated and reciprocated initiatives in tension-reduction (GRIT). APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1960; APA President, 1963.

1952 — The District of Columbia Psychological Association was incorporated. Thelma Hunt was chair of the committee on incorporation.

1964 — The antidepressant drug Norpramin (desipramine; Merrell Dow) was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Desipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant, acting to increase the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and, to a lesser extent, serotonin by interfering with their reuptake. Pertofrane (Rorer) is also desipramine and was approved by the FDA on December 18, 1964.