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30 August in the History of Psychology

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On August 30:

1705 — David Hartley was born. Hartley founded the school of associationism, stressing contiguous brain vibrations as the cause of learning, forgetting, imagination, and perception. Contiguity remains a central explanatory principle of these phenomena.

1890 — The nation's oldest federal mental hospital, St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC, was authorized by Congress to purchase additional land for expansion. The land acquired was known as the Oxon Hill Manor and overlooked the Potomac River about 3 miles (5 km) from the hospital.

1914 — Roger W. Russell was born. Russell's academic interests have been in the biochemistry of behavior, psychopharmacology, the effects of environmental stressors on behavior, neurophysiology, and psychiatry. Executive Secretary of the APA, 1956-1959.

1916 — Virginia Staudt Sexton was born. Sexton's writing has illuminated the histories of special groups of psychologists, notably Roman Catholics, humanists, international psychologists, and women. Her organizational and academic work has broadened the scope of psychology and informed psychologists about their histories and relations with each other.

1930 — Nancy Mayer Robinson was born. Robinson has specialized in research on behavior pathologies in children, mental retardation, giftedness, behavioral techniques of treatment and education, and the efficacy of daycare. Her book The Mentally Retarded Child: A Psychological Approach (1965, with Halbert B. Robinson) has been a definitive text.

1933 — Saul Sternberg was born. Sternberg's contributions to the field of information processing have included several experimental procedures, analytic techniques, and experimental models, including the Sternberg memory scanning paradigm and the serial exhaustive research model. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1987.

1937 — The first formal meeting of the American Association for Applied Psychology (AAAP) began in Minneapolis. Douglas Fryer was elected president by the 400 members. The AAAP succeeded the Association of Consulting Psychologists and focused on practice issues, in contrast to the academic orientation of the APA. The AAAP and APA reunited when the APA reorganized in 1944.

1945 — The first certificate to practice psychology was granted by a U.S. state board of examiners in psychology. The Connecticut board granted the certificate to its chair, Walter R. Miles, on the occasion of the first meeting of the board. The Connecticut certification law, the nation's first, had been enacted on July 19, 1945.

1951 — Responding to a request from the Veterans Administration, the Northwestern Conference, a conference of members of APA Division 17 (Counseling Psychology), produced the first APA Standards for Training Counseling Psychologists. Edward Bordin, Frances Robinson, C. Gilbert Wrenn, and Donald Super led the effort. After site visits, 17 doctoral programs were granted APA approval.

1961 — The American Association of State Psychological Boards held its first formal annual meeting at New York's Hotel Commodore during the APA convention. Chester C. Bennett was the first president. The new organization was comprised of 29 state boards. Its name was changed to the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards in 1991.

1961  Undergraduate Curricula in Psychology, the report of the second national conference on teaching psychology at the undergraduate level, was published. The conference itself was held at the University of Michigan during the summer of 1960. Wilbert J. McKeachie and John E. Milholland directed the conference. Lawrence E. Cole, William Hunt, Robert Leeper, Wilbert Ray, Robert L. Isaacson, James V. McConnell, and Edward L. Walker were the other participants.

1965 — Michael Argyle and Janet Dean's article "Eye-Contact, Distance, and Affiliation" was published in Sociometry. In 1979, this article was featured as a "citation classic" by the journal Current Contents.

1965 — Michael Wallach and Nathan Kogan's book Modes of Thinking in Young Children: A Study of the Creativity-Intelligence Distinction was published. This book was featured as a "citation classic" in a 1980 issue of the journal Current Contents.

1967 — The first edition of Sol L. Garfield and Allen E. Bergin's Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change: An Empirical Analysis was published.

1973 — The APA Council of Representatives admitted Division 34 (Population and Environmental Psychology). Vaida Thompson was the first divisional president.

1973 — The APA Council of Representatives admitted Division 35 (Psychology of Women).

1973 — The Association of Gay Psychologists' Caucus held its first meeting at the APA convention in Montreal. This was the first advocacy effort on behalf of gay and lesbian psychologists and led to an APA task force on lesbian and gay concerns.

1974 — The first APA Master Lecture was presented by Kurt Schlesinger on "Behavior Genetics: Current Status and Perspective" at the 82nd Annual Convention in New Orleans.

1991 — Neurobiologist Simon LeVay's article "Is Homosexuality Biological?" appeared in Science. LeVay's study demonstrated a relation between sexual preference in men and the size of the INAH-3 cluster of cells in the anterior hypothalamus. It was the first study relating sexual preference to a brain center implicated in sexual behavior.