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20 October in the History of Psychology


Aamir Ranjha
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On October 20:

1859 — John Dewey was born. Dewey was an early functionalist, best known for his impact on educational reform by promoting learning by doing. His influential article on the reflex arc concept in psychology emphasized functional relations and adaptation as the proper focus of psychology. APA President, 1899.

1880 — Walter Van Dyke Bingham was born. Bingham was a pioneer of industrial psychology, personnel selection and guidance, and accident reduction, consistently basing his work on experimental findings. He founded the first university department of applied psychology at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (1915) and helped develop the first military personnel placement tests.

1885 — Freud first met Charcot during Freud's 20-week visit to Paris. The occasion was the first of Charcot's famous Leçons du Mardi at the Salpêtrière asylum. Over time, Freud grew close to Charcot and was strongly influenced by Charcot's demonstrations of the relation between hypnotic suggestibility and hysterical symptoms.

1886 — Sir Frederick C. Bartlett was born. Bartlett studied the effects of prior experience on learning and memory. He was the first to hold the title of Professor of Experimental Psychology at Cambridge University and was knighted for his work in 1948.

1887 — Karl Dallenbach was born. Dallenbach was a faithful student of Edward B. Titchener whose many papers focused on sensation, perception, memory, and attention. He was the editor of the American Journal of Psychology for 42 years. American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal, 1966.

1909 — The new U.S. Food and Drug Administration seized 40 barrels and 20 kegs of Coca-Cola syrup near Chattanooga, Tennessee, because Coca-Cola contained caffeine. Coca-Cola hired psychologist Harry Hollingworth to study the effects of caffeine on humans as part of its legal defense. Hollingworth's studies were models of experimental control across a broad range of conditions.

1919 — The National Research Council Division of Anthropology and Psychology was organized.

1934 — The organizing meeting of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology was held at the Hotel Commodore in New York. H. Douglas Singer was elected president.

1961 — The first annual meeting of the New England Psychological Association began at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. M. Curtis Langhorne, who promoted the formation of a New England association separate from the Eastern Psychological Association, was elected temporary chairman. The first president, Edwin G. Boring, was elected in January 1962.

1968 — The New York Times Magazine reported a link between criminality and an extra Y sex chromosome in men. The XYY male was said to be "invariably tall and usually of below-average intelligence with a tendency toward acne; he was likely to have unusual sexual tastes, often including homosexuality, and a record of criminal or antisocial behavior." Later studies showed only an indirect, if any, link between the XYY kerotype and criminal behavior.