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30 November in the History of Psychology

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On November 30:

1838 — The Ohio Lunatic Asylum, in Columbus, was opened for patients. The cornerstone for the building was laid by convict laborers from the Ohio Penitentiary on April 20, 1837. The first patients to be admitted were former patients of the Commercial Hospital and Lunatic Asylum of Cincinnati, the state's first mental hospital. The Cincinnati hospital was sold to private owners earlier in 1838.

1885 — Pierre Janet reported his first studies of "sleep provoked from a distance," later called hypnosis, to the Society of Physiological Psychology. A second group of studies was reported May 31, 1886.

1896 — The first American public school class for children with mental retardation opened in Providence, Rhode Island, under the auspices of Horace S. Tarbell, superintendent of schools.

1903 — Grace Heider was born. Heider was a developmental psychologist with a special interest in the process of language development in deaf children. Her book Studies in the Psychology of the Deaf (1940) reflects this interest. Her last book, Vulnerability in Infants and Young Children, was not written until 1973, testifying to her enduring productivity and interest in child development.

1904 — Max Wertheimer received a Ph.D. degree at the age of 24 under Oswald Külpe at the University of Würzburg. Wertheimer became one of the founders of Gestalt psychology.

1942  Time magazine featured a story on the prefrontal lobotomy operations by Walter Freeman and James Watts, of the George Washington University Hospital. Time said, "some 300 people in the U.S. have had their psychoses surgically removed."

1962 — John Paul Scott's article "Critical Periods in Behavioral Development" was published in Science.

1962 — Jerome Kagan and Howard A. Moss's book Birth to Maturity: A Study in Psychological Development was published. In 1982, the journal Current Contents chose this book as a "citation classic" because it had been cited in over 460 other publications.

1977 — J. Allen Hobson and Robert W. McCarley's article "The Brain as a Dream State Generator: An Activation-Synthesis Hypothesis of the Dream Process" was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The article was cited widely in introductory texts.

1984 — The final report of the APA Task Force on Victims of Crime and Violence was submitted. Morton Bard chaired this committee, which summarized research on the responses of victims to their circumstances, psychological help for victims, and legal and public policy issues.

1984 — The APA Presidential Citation was awarded to U.S. Assistant Attorney General Lois Haight Harrington for bringing public attention to the mental health needs of crime victims.

1993 — George Franklin, Sr., of Redwood City, California, was convicted of a 1969 murder on the strength of "repressed memory" testimony given by his daughter, Eileen. Franklin's conviction was reversed on appeal in 1996. The case was one of many in which traumatic childhood incidents went unreported for many years, only to emerge during psychotherapy. The authenticity of these reports has been the subject of controversy and research.