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31 December in the History of Psychology

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On December 31:

1691 — Christian Thomasius, a German philosopher and jurist, published an early work on personality assessment with the title "New Discovery of a Well-Grounded and For the Community Most Necessary Science of the Knowledge of the Secrets of the Heart of Other Men from Daily Conversation, Even Against Their Will."

1776 — Johann Spurzheim was born. Spurzheim popularized Gall's theory of phrenology in England, France, and the United States in the early 1800s.

1908 — Ward Halstead was born. Halstead's work on the brain and human behavior led to the Halstead Battery of Neuropsychological Tests, designed to diagnose brain damage. He was the first to suggest that RNA and protein molecules in brain cells may represent the memory engram.

1908 — The APA appointed its first committee to study methods of teaching psychology, the Committee on Methods of Teaching Psychology. The committee was chaired by Carl E. Seashore and included James R. Angell, Mary Whiton Calkins, Edmund C. Sanford, and Guy Montrose Whipple. The committee focused on the introductory course in psychology and reported its findings to the 1909 annual meeting of the APA.

1922 — Wallace E. Lambert was born. Lambert's cross-national and psycholinguistic studies have focused on bilingualism: bilingual memory, neuropsychological correlates, and the roles of attention and motivation in second-language learning. Canadian Psychological Association President, 1969; APA Distinguished Scientific Award for Applications of Psychology, 1990.

1923 — John W. Atkinson was born. Atkinson is best known for work in motivation, especially for the measurement of motives of achievement, affiliation, fear, sex, and aggression by means of responses to the Thematic Apperception Test. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1979.

1943 — The drug Desoxyn (methamphetamine; Abbott Laboratories) was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant and is used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

1956 — The first list of APA-approved clinical internship programs was published in the American Psychologist. Twenty-seven institutions qualified for approval.

1959 — The organizing meeting of the Psychonomic Society was held at the 1959 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Clifford T. Morgan chaired the meeting.

1965 — Israel Goldiamond's article "Self Control Procedures in Personal Behavior Problems" was published in Psychological Reports. The article reported the successful use of behavior modification techniques in the treatment of troublesome personal behavior.

1971 — The report Television and Growing Up: The Effects of Televised Violence was presented to the U.S. surgeon general. Psychologists Irving L. Janis and Alberta E. Siegel served on the committee that wrote the report. The report both summarized and generated much research in social psychology.

1974 — The "Buckley Amendment" to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 was signed by President Ford. The amendment made school records available to parents and college students and altered school counseling practices. The regulations had been published in the Federal Register of June 17, 1976, with an effective date of November 19, 1973.