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21 February in the History of Psychology


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On February 21:

1892 — Harry Stack Sullivan was born. Sullivan's theory of personality stressed the social origins and social expression of personality. He asserted that personality is a quality not of an individual but of a relation between individuals. He developed a social milieu therapy for the treatment of schizophrenia.

1931 — Ursula Bellugi was born. Bellugi and Edward S. Klima have studied extensively the neuropsychology of language, with special attention given to basic processes revealed by fluent users of American Sign Language. Their book The Signs of Language (1979) won the Outstanding Book Award from the Association of American Publishers. APA Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award, 1992.

1951 — The state of Georgia passed its law providing for the licensing of psychologists. Governor Herman Talmadge appointed Austin S. Edwards, Herman Martin, and Larry Ross to the first board of psychological examiners on March 27, 1952.

1953 — Biochemist James Watson built the first accurate model of the DNA molecule, the carrier of information determining inherited characteristics. Watson and Francis Crick's model was published in the April 25, 1953, issue of Nature. They won the Nobel prize for this work in 1962.

1961 — George S. Reynolds's article "Behavioral Contrast" was published in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

1961 — The antidepressant drug Parmate (tranylcypromine; Smith, Kline, and French) was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Tranylcypromine is a monamine oxidase inhibitor that increases the supply of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin by interfering with their metabolic breakdown.

1969 — The Harvard Educational Review published Arthur Jensen's article "How Much Can We Boost IQ and Scholastic Achievement?" The article provoked widespread research and debate over the roles of heredity, race, and environment in determining intelligence.

1976 — The first Annual Symposium on Behavioral and Learning Disorders was held at the Devereux Schools in Santa Barbara, California.

1979 — The Journal of the Asian American Psychological Association was first published.