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28 December in the History of Psychology

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On December 28:

1875 — The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, an important early organization for child welfare advocacy, held its first meeting. John D. Wright was the group's first president. The organization was inspired by public attention to the case of 8-year-old Mary Ellen Wilson, who had been beaten by her adoptive parents and sold into servitude.

1888 — Sidney Pressey was born. Pressey was an educational and developmental psychologist who was also active in professional organizations. He patented a machine for administering multiple-choice intelligence test items (1928) that later became the first teaching machine.

1897 — The first simultaneous sessions at an APA annual meeting were held to accommodate diverging interests and an increasing number of presentations. One morning session was devoted to "discussion of physical and mental tests," whereas the other consisted of "psychological papers." The meeting was held at Cornell University.

1899 — The first APA annual meeting session devoted to teaching psychology was presented by George S. Fullerton, Joseph Jastrow, H. Austin Aikins, and Charles H. Judd. The title of the presentation was "How Should Psychology Be Taught?" All of the speakers agreed that psychology must be taught as a science.

1903 — John von Neumann was born. Von Neumann was an outstanding mathematician who helped to develop the atomic bomb and the first electronic computers. With Oskar Morgenstern, he wrote A Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (1944), the cornerstone of modern scientific theory and research in decision and choice behavior.

1909 — Ivan Pavlov delivered his "Tower of Silence" lecture to the 12th Congress of Naturalists and Physicians in Moscow. The lecture emphasized the importance of experimental control and resulted some years later in a tower laboratory building actually erected in St. Petersburg to provide Pavlov the experimental isolation he required.

1917 — The American Association of Clinical Psychologists (AACP) was founded at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. J. E. W. Wallin was the first chairman and Leta Stetter Hollingworth the first secretary. The group promoted training and certification standards for the practice of clinical psychology. The AACP became the APA Section of Clinical Psychology, the APA's first special interest division, on December 29, 1919.

1917 — At the 25th Annual Meeting of the APA, the equipment display included "Fifty Small Colored Pictures of Oriental Rugs for Esthetic Judgments," "A New Model Electro-Mechanical Stimulus Shuffler," and "a new form of the Self-Registering Tapping Board."

1921 — Joseph H. Grosslight was born. Grosslight and Leonard Bickman planned the pivotal National Conference on Graduate Education and Training in Psychology that met in Salt Lake City in 1987. APA Award for Distinguished Education and Training Contributions, 1988.

1925 — The APA appointed a committee of three to "undertake to develop an adequate abstracts journal covering the field of Psychology." The committee of Walter Hunter, Samuel Fernberger, and Herbert Langfeld obtained $76,500 in development funds from the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial and the resulting journal, Psychological Abstracts, appeared in January 1927.

1942 — At 2:30 p.m., Clark Hull mailed the final corrected galley proofs of his Principles of Behavior to his publisher, Appleton-Century-Crofts.

1990 — The APA became the owner of the Journal of Family Psychology, formerly a publication of APA Division 43 (Family Psychology). The September 1992 issue was the first published entirely by the APA.

1991 — The first annual meeting of the Society for Machines and Mentality was held in New York City. William Bechtel delivered the keynote address, "Currents in Connectionism." William Rapaport was president of the new organization.